Manali to punish maskless tourists: Rs 5000 fine or 8 days in jail for flouting COVID norms

New Delhi: After several pictures of tourists flouting COVID-19 norms in the hill station of Manali surfaced, the district administration sprung into action to prevent the spread of infection.

The administration has imposed a fine of Rs 5000 or 8 days in jail for tourists who are found not wearing masks. In the last few days, the police have recovered about Rs 3 lakh from tourists.

“We have initiated this drive to make the tourists aware. Those not wearing masks can be punished with Rs 5,000 in fine or 8 days in jail. We have recorded over 300 challans in the last 7-8 days and have recovered Rs 3 lakh,” Gurudev Sharma, Superintendent of Police, Kullu was quoted as saying by ANI.

The administration said the COVID-19 awareness campaign was initiated in wake of tourists thronging the state after easing of restrictions.

Reacting to the pictures of crowds from places like Manali and Mussoorie earlier this week, the central government warned that they would impose strict curbs in the hill stations again.

“People travelling to hill stations are not following COVID-appropriate behaviour. We can nullify the ease in restrictions again if protocols not complied with” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, said.

“Pictures (from hill stations) are frightening. People must comply with COVID-appropriate behaviour,” Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR, said.

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