Nilgiris Collector Innocent J Divya on Tuesday clarified that the district will not be open for tourism although the Tamil Nadu government has relaxed the lockdown guidelines. She further stated that travel into the district for business and work will be allowed but tourist spots in the district will remain shut.
"As far as Nilgiris is concerned, tourism activity is still prohibited," said the Collector at a press conference. "There will be a manual e-pass system. The e-pass system will remain as it is, where all documents will be verified. For people from Nilgiris, their documents will be checked and the e-pass will be auto-approved. There will be no restrictions. Even so, avoid non-essential travel. In COVID-19 times, this will create problems for everyone. We are a small district with limited medical facilities. So, travel should be only for essential needs," she stated.
The Collector also said that hotels will take in guests who come to the district for business.
"As of now, tourism is closed and all tourist spots will be shut. People can come for business and work and stay in hotels. They, too, have to follow a standard operating procedure, she said, adding that tourism will be decided only based on the Chief Minister's instructions.
The Collector further spoke about travelling to and from the district. She, however, warned people to stay away from buses if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
"Buses will be allowed into the district. A standard operating procedure will be followed. Buses are disinfected and people without masks will not be allowed into the bus," she said. "There will be only 50% occupancy. If people show symptoms, they must avoid travelling. There will be thermal scanning before boarding the bus," he added.
The Nilgiris district has recorded a total of 1,614 cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Tamil Nadu currently has 52,578 active cases and a total of 4,28,041 people have tested positive till date.