SHILLONG: When the country hit "lockdown" mode after the rampant spread of the COVID-19 virus, 1.3 Indians were sent indoors even as the virus spread at a rapid pace across the country. Inter-state borders were closed down and the tourism industries took massive hits. Now, Meghalaya, the "abode of clouds", has finally decided to reopen its doors to the tourists, which is expected to give a major shot-in-the-arm to the state's economy.
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However, if one wishes to visit the state after it finally opens up again, he/she will have to follow certain rules that have been imposed by the Government to contain the spread of the pathogen.
The Meghalaya Government has stated that it will be made mandatory for tourists to come with a COVID Negative RT-PCR/TruNat/ CBNAAT report which will be valid only if they were tested within 72 hours of their arrival at the entry point. Rapid Antigen Tests shall not be valid. Moreover, the Meghalaya Government, in a release, has also informed that symptomatic tourists shall be tested at the entry points.
All tourists who wish to visit the State of Meghalaya will need to mandatorily register on the Meghalaya Tourism App and generate an E-lnvite for the proposed itinerary. The Meghalaya Tourism App is available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store.
A valid Photo ID card needs to be uploaded on the Meghalaya Tourism App including that of other members who are traveling in the group. Members traveling together can register and generate one E-Invite.
It is mandatory to book at least two nights' stay (Either Hotel/Homestay/Guest House) for the first two nights and declaration of the complete itinerary for the E-Invite to be generated.
If the tourist is staying as a guest of any family or friend in Meghalaya, then the tourist shall declare the full address and contact details of the family or friend and the complete itinerary for the E-Invite to be generated.
The services of Registered Tour Operators listed on the Meghalaya Tourism website at the link https://www. meghalayatourism.in/plan-your-trip/tour-operators/ and on the Meghalaya Tourism App, can also be used to obtain an E-Invite.
The E-Invite with the QR Code will have to be produced to the officials at the Entry Points to the State by each tourist along with the Valid Photo IDs. The process of entry is contactless whereby the tourist can display the E-Invite with QR Code on the mobile phone or a print out of the E-Invite with QR Code. An original copy of the COVID Negative report as per para 7 of this SOP has to be also produced by the tourist at the Entry Point.
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