Meghalaya to re-open for tourists ahead of Christmas

Tourists can spend their Christmas festive season in any part of Meghalaya, as the ‘abode of clouds’ will re-open for visitors from outside the state from December 21.

However, tourists having novel coronavirus symptoms, even with a COVID-19 negative report are advised not to visit the state as they will be mandatorily tested at the entry points as per the protocols of the state health and family welfare department.

Also, those intending to visit Meghalaya must register on the Meghalaya tourism app and generate an e-invite for the proposed itinerary.

“We are reopening tourism in Meghalaya for tourists from outside the state from December 21. To ensure the safety of everyone, registration through the @meghtourism app is made mandatory & SOPs are put in place,” chief minister Conrad Sangma tweeted.

Commissioner and secretary Tourism, Vijay Kumar said registration with the state government will be mandatory for visitors as Meghalaya will re-open to tourists from outside from December 21 and the tourism department has notified a standard operating procedure (SOP) for visiting Meghalaya from outside the state.

“The state government has also made it mandatory for all the tourists to register on the Meghalaya tourism app and generate an e-invite for the proposed itinerary,” he added.

Mandatory accommodation booking for two nights in Meghalaya

Moreover, the visitors have to mandatorily book hotel, home-stay or guest house accommodation for at least two nights’ stay the first two nights and declaration of the complete itinerary for the e-invite to be generated.

“If the tourist is staying as a guest at a family or friend’s place in Meghalaya, then the tourist shall declare the full address and contact details of the family or friend and the complete itinerary for the E-Invite to be generated,” Kumar said.

The services of registered tour operators listed on the Meghalaya tourism website and the Meghalaya tourism app, can also be used to obtain an e-invite.

“The process of entry is contactless. The e-invite with QR code on the mobile phone or a print out of the e-invite with QR code can be displayed at the entry points. An original copy of the COVID-19 negative report has to be also produced at the entry point,” Kumar added.

It is also mandatory for tourists to come with a COVID-19 negative RT-PCR, TruNat, CBNAAT report which will be valid only if they were tested within 72 hours. However, RAT negative test is not valid for tourists.

“Given the prevailing COVID-19 situation, it is advised that tourists having symptoms should not travel. Such symptomatic individuals, even with a COVID negative report, will be mandatorily tested at the Entry Points as per the protocols of the health and family welfare department,” the official SOP laid down.

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