Despite several warnings from experts about a possible third COVID-19 wave, a large number of tourists have reached Kasauli to recover from lockdown blues. With Covid norms relaxed in Himachal Pradesh, huge crowds thronged the popular tourist destination, causing several traffic jams and congestion.
Locals are hopeful for their businesses after suffering losses from the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.
Satish Kumar, a junior engineer in Kasauli told ANI that it is especially crowded during the weekends and the police are quite active in issuing fines on people who flout COVID-19 norms.
"During the weekend, the number of tourists in Kasauli is double. It is very busy from Friday to Sunday. From Sunday to Thursday it is quieter. The police are quite active and are issuing challans to all tourists who are not following mask protocol. People are slowly recovering from the financial losses they suffered during the lockdown," he said.
New daily COVID-19 cases have been on a decline since the devastating second wave peaked in May. 180 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours, as per the state health department.
Over the last few weeks, tourists have been thronging hills as the heatwave has hit the plains and the second wave of COVID-19 seeing a significant decline in the country. Vacation spots witnessed tourists gross violations of COVID-19 norms. Very few were wearing masks in Dharamshala, and social distancing went for a toss.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had on Friday appealed to tourists to follow COVID-19 norms.
Speaking to ANI, Jairam Thakur had said, "We are concerned about the number of tourists coming to the State. Tourists are welcome here but I appeal to them to follow COVID19 norms."
"We need to save the tourism industry also. I held a virtual meeting with districts officials and directed them to monitor and regulate the crowd. COVID19 is not over yet. Hotels are being asked to follow SOPs", he added.
(With ANI Inputs)