Sikkim government has announced the reopening of tourism in the state from October 10.

This move has been announced despite a bar on the entry of tourists (imposed by the local bodies) to popular destinations like Lachung in North Sikkim and Yuksom in West Sikkim.

In the first phase, only domestic tourists and foreigners residing in the country would be allowed to enter Sikkim.

“The foreigners will have to have valid documents. They must have valid visas and inner-line permits. If they have proper documents and are residing within India, and not coming from other countries, they would be allowed to visit Sikkim,” said Kapil Meena, the Director and Additional Secretary, Sikkim Tourism and Civil Aviation.

Additionally, tourists cannot enter the state at random. They must first register online with the Sikkim Tourism Department website and must have a negative Covid-19 certificate that’s valid at least 72 hours before arriving into Sikkim.

Regarding the operation of hotels in the state, Meena states, “Only those hotels and other accommodation units that have registered on the tourism website will be allowed to operate. This will help the tourism department in monitoring the arrival and movements of tourists.”

The state had barred the entry of foreign tourists on March 5 and domestic visitors on March 17 amid the Coronavirus pandemic. It had also restricted the inter-state movement of people before lifting the bar from October 1.

The year 2019 recorded 1.4 million domestic tourists visit the state of Sikkim.