GANGTOK: The Sikkim government on Wednesday threw open Yumthang Valley in Lachung village for tourists, a week after it allowed similar relaxations in other famous destinations such as Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula, a notification said.
Lachung Dzumsa, a local body that controls tourism activities in the North Sikkim village, welcomed the decision and said that strict adherence to COVID guidelines will be ensured.
Tourists were seen thronging the East Sikkim destinations of Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir after those were opened for visitors last week.
The state government will decide on opening up another much-visited destination of Gurudongmar Lake in Lachen village in North Sikkim for tourists after holding a meeting with Lachen Dzumsa next week, an official said.
After a tremendous surge in coronavirus cases, tourist destinations in the Himalayan state were closed for visitors from March this year. The administration had in July started allowing tourists with fully vaccinated certificates to enter the state and permitted hotels and homestays to operate at 50 per cent capacity.
Currently, as per the reports, fully vaccinated travellers can enter the state through Rangpo in East Sikkim and Melli in South Sikkim after showing their vaccination certificates at the checkpoints. Besides, those who are fully vaccinated do not need to show RT-PCR test reports.
For those who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine need to show a COVID-negative certificate of RT-PCR test, not older than 72 hours. Meanwhile the Sikkim government has permitted hotels, homestays and guesthouses to operate at 50 per cent capacity, by strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
Besides, casinos in hotels can operate for in-house customers. The state has also allowed shopping malls, showrooms and shops to operate with full capacity with strict adherence to the Covid-related safety norms.