No tourist entry in Kodagu until restrictions are lifted

Following plaints, homestays, resorts warned against encouraging tourists’ entry

The Kodagu district administration has taken a serious note of the hospitality sector encouraging entry of tourists despite the district continuing to be under lockdown till July 5 in view of the prevailing pandemic situation.

Despite drop in cases, COVID-19 cases haven’t come under full control in the hill district. Minister for Health and Medical Education K. Sudhakar reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Madikeri on Tuesday and suggested to restrict tourism as a precautionary measure to contain the spread.

Acting on complaints about homestays and resorts allowing the illegal entry of tourists in violation of lockdown rules, the authorities have registered an FIR against a homestay in Madikeri taluk and a report has been submitted to the Deputy Commissioner in connection with a complaint against a resort for letting in visitors despite the restrictions.

“Tourism has not reopened yet in Kodagu. The restrictions on tourists have continued with the lockdown extended till July 5. We will act according to the government’s directives on allowing tourism activities only after July 5. Action will be taken against any illegal tourism activities during the lockdown period,” said Assistant Commissioner Eshwar Kumar Kandu.

Mr. Kandu, who is also Deputy Director of Tourism, Madikeri, urged the public to call 1077 for any information on illegal tourism activities in their surroundings, including homestays, resorts and hotels.

He told reporters in Madikeri on Wednesday that a team comprising officers from the Revenue, Police and Tourism Departments had been constituted to keep a tab on illegal entry of tourists.

Mr. Kandu, however, said vehicle entry into the district has seen a rise since the past few days. The border check-posts have also been alerted for keeping a tab on visitors.

The district administration has already made RT-PCR negative reports mandatory for those entering the State from Kerala through Kodagu’s check-posts. In addition, RATs (Rapid Antigen Test) are also being done at Kutta and Makutta check-posts.

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