Gangtok: The Himalayan state of Sikkim, one of the most popular tourist destinations in India for its scenic beauty, is set to reopen for tourists from October 10 next. The state government announced this decision last week, along with the news that Sikkim will open its borders to vehicles coming from neighbouring West Bengal on October 1.
Although hotels and homestays for tourists will once again be operational, they will have to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) imposed by the Sikkim government for hotels and all tourism related activities.
People who are interested in visiting Sikkim after the COVID-19 lockdown can begin booking hotel tickets from September 27.
As per a government order, international tourists having valid visas will be granted Inner Line Permits from October 10 onwards.
The odd-even rule (which limits the numbers of vehicles according to their registration number) for all public transports will remain in place even after October 1. The rule has been imposed in order to decrease the movement of vehicles. The same rule was implemented in New Delhi to curb air pollution.
It needs mention here that the state capital, Gangtok, will be under a complete lockdown from September 21-27 amid a surge in the number of COVID cases.
During this phase of the lockdown, transport will be allowed on roads except the ones engaged or authorised in essential services.
'During the lockdown period in Gangtok, 30 per cent employees of the state government offices will work and all shops (barring those selling essential items) will remain shut.
Tourism is one of the main sources of income for Sikkim, which witnesses footfall of thousands of tourists each year. Sikkim has severe tourst hotspots such as Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass, Yuksom, Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang Valley, Ravangla, Pelling, Zuluk, and Namchi.