With the Coronavirus outbreak back in March this year, tourism was halted and the state is reopening tourism from December 21.
After nine months of the state being shut, Meghalaya has decided to reopen for tourists. With the Coronavirus outbreak back in March this year, tourism was halted and the state is reopening tourism from December 21. In a tweet by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, the minister announced reopening of tourism from this month and said that the state is ready to welcome everyone. Meghalaya tourism department also shared a video ‘Meghalaya is where clouds come home’ on Twitter inviting people to visit the beauty of the state situated amidst picturesque valleys.
Shillong, capital city of Meghalaya is a popular tourist destination and records thousands of tourists visiting there in summer every year. According to a report by The IE, tourism took a hit since last December on the back of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. In February this year, people resisted going there due to violence related to the Inner Line Permit-demand and in March, the country witnessed the novel Coronavirus outbreak.
After December 21, those interested in visiting Meghalaya will have to follow all the SOPs that the state government has put in place. Downloading Meghalaya tourism app has also been mandated by CM Sangma. According to the Commissioner and Secretary, Tourism Department, Government of Meghalaya, people will only be allowed to enter the state once they have an e-invite. This e-invite can be generated with the tourism app. It is to note that this invite will only be generated if a tourist will show booking for a stay (a minimum stay of two nights) in the state. For those living with family or a friend in Meghalaya, will have to declare all details about them- providing full address as well as contact details of family members/ friends. Apart from this, a complete itinerary is also required by the government.
Tourists are required to show e-invite at all entry points along with an original report of COVID-19 negative results. The test, as per the report can be RT-PCR, TruNat, CBNAAT and has to be tested within 72 hours (prior) to their arrival in the state. The guidelines issued by the state clarifies that the Rapid Antigen Test will not be considered by the government. If anyone with a negative report found symptomatic at the entry point, testing the person again at the entry point has been mandated. So far, the state reported 12,314 cases and as of now, only 621 cases are active.