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Gangtok: People who wish to visit Sikkim will not have to undergo COVID-related tests. The mandatory negative RT-PCR report enforced by the West Bengal government for passengers travelling from Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana on February 24 will be enough for the time being.

The Sikkim home department on March 11 as part of ‘measures for containment of COVID-19’ underwent ‘partial modification’ with ‘No further test requirement’ via a notification.

Also read: Sikkim to set up screening centre at Siliguri entry point

Days ago, the state health department’s declaration of the RT PCR testing from the aforementioned states, followed by talks of screening at the Siliguri entry point, created quite a stir in the tourism sector. Sikkim, which welcomes tourists in March and thereafter, till the monsoon season, had reported having undergone loss in business with the cancellation of travel packages for many travel agents and hoteliers.

The tourism sector has breathed a sigh of relief at hearing the announcement. However, the notification asserts strict enforcement of the SOP by tourism stakeholders to be ensured by the state tourism department.

Furthermore, with the municipal elections due on March 31, the notification also highlights on ‘Other SOPs’ about the organisation of rallies, ceremonies, public gatherings to be strictly enforced by district administrations with accountability lying in the hands of District Collectors and Superintendent of Police, informs the notification.

Elsewhere, schools and colleges are also ensuring partial openings since February, drawing on the same concern, the education department has also been notified of the strict enforcement of SOPs as per the union education ministry.

The guidelines are an addition to the previous notification issued by the State Home Department on January 29, 2021.



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