Latest news reports state that three states in the Northeast—Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Sikkim—have banned the entry of domestic tourists in a move to contain the spread of Coronavirus. Earlier, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram had prohibited the entry of foreign visitors to prevent the virus from spreading.

The Nagaland government decided the ban on Monday, barring the entry of both foreign and domestic tourists in the state from March 18. The state government made this decision at a high-level meeting, in which Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was also present. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister urged everyone to not panic and take necessary steps for self-protection. The state government has also decided to shut down all educational institutions in the state from March 7 to April 12. The office memorandum further stated that the issuance of new or fresh Inner Line Permits for tourists (both domestic and foreign) and all other categories to remain suspended with immediate effect until further notice.

COVID-19: Nagaland, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh bar entry of domestic tourists

Also, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted, “Health of our citizens is top priority. Arunachal has closed its doors to tourists temporarily to prevent the possibility of spread of COVID-19 in our state.” Earlier, the restriction was imposed only on the entry of foreign travellers in the state.

Further, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang declared that entry tourists, including migrant labourers from other states, will be barred entry from Tuesday onwards. The Chief Minister also requested tourists, who are already in the state, to leave immediately. He mentioned three out of five entry points have also been sealed to contain the spread of Coronavirus. However, only goods vehicles carrying food and other essential items from West Bengal will be allowed via those entry points, and that screening will be intensified, he informed.

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