‘No Mask, No Tourism’ | Gilgit-Baltistan Reopens for Tourism
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s scenic and major tourism destination Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has opened all tourism activities on August 8, 2020, with strict safety measures in place as was announced by Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar on August 6. The admission of visitors will be subject to the clearance of medical reports, the GB government spokesperson said.
The tourism activities have been opened under a “No mask, no tourism” policy and tightly controlled conditions. Mir Afzal Khan, the caretaker Chief Minister of GB, has issued directions to open the tourism sector with the proper implementation of travel standard operating procedures (SOPs).
On August 6, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar had announced to reopen dine-in restaurants, all tourists destinations across the country and beauty salons across Pakistan on August 10 as the efforts against the coronavirus pandemic seem to bear fruit.
The GB government has planned an organized reopening of tourist areas after the evaluation of the health situation. The officials came up with guidelines for travel and the hotel industry as well as visitors for the safe revival of tourism after five months of closure. GB home secretary Mohammad Ali Randhawa shared the mandatory guidelines for both visitors and tour operators.
Mandatory travel guidelines
1. Before travel, the visitors must submit the following documents at the tourism office at GB house in Islamabad
A: Proof of a negative coronavirus test result
B: COVID test to be taken within 7 days of arrival
C: Hotel booking proof
D: Details of travel areas
2. The GB government would issue a visit permit after assessing the details of the tourists
3. Only those with the permit would be allowed to enter the region
4. Screening and registration to be ensured at all entry points
5. Tour operators and hotel owners will ensure details of hotel booking prior to the visit
6. Suspected coronavirus patients to be immediately quarantined and sent back
Besides the essential rules, hotels and restaurants have been advised to display safety instructions for employees and customers and ensure temperature checks at the entrance. Visitors as well as those associated with the travel industry must wear masks while restaurants have been urged to maintain social distancing.