Ladakh is a dream destination for all tourists and adventure seekers. It is a very popular international tourist destination too. However, this global pandemic of Covid-19 has been a bad news for tourism across the globe. India also imposed strict lockdown to contain the spread of Corona Virus. After 4 consecutive lockdowns, the phased reopening or the Unlock phases began. Finally, in the Unlock 4 phase, tourism activities and travel has also been allowed starting from September 1, 2020.
For anyone looking to travel to Ladakh this year for tourism or adventure activities, below is a summary of the latest guidelines and SOPs issued by the administration of UT of Ladakh in the current Unlock 4 phase. Please note that these guidelines are effective starting from September 01, 2020 and these are the latest guidelines issued as of now. If and when there are any changes in the travel guidelines for tourists and visitors, we will update our information too.
For tourists & visitors coming to Ladakh
- There are no restrictions on any inter-state, intra-state or inter-UT movement of visitors and tourists for Ladakh. No e-pass, permit or online registration is required before traveling to Ladakh.
- All tourists and visitors coming to Ladakh are strongly advised to bring a Covid-19 negative test report which is issued within 48 hours prior to their arrival in Ladakh via any road route or air travel. If tourists do not bring this negative test report, they will have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period of 7 days at their hotel or any other place of stay. After this quarantine period, they will be tested for Covid-19 and following a negative report, the quarantine period will end.
- For all the tourists and visitors coming to Ladakh, using 'Aarogya Setu' application on their phone is mandatory. Tourists are advised to travel only if their status in the application is shown as 'Safe (Green)'.
- If Aarogya Setu status is 'Suspect' for any tourist, they'll have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period for 14 days.If they develop any Covid like symptoms during this quarantine period, district administration must be informed immediately. A Covid-19 test will be conducted in this case and following a negative report, the quarantine period will end. In case of a positive patient, district authorities will proceed for their treatment and isolation as per their protocol.
- Any visitor or tourist arriving in Ladakh with severe Covid like or any flu-like symptoms, will be isolated along with their primary contacts by the district administration.
- During their visit to Ladakh, all tourists must follow the basic Covid safety guidelines of following social distancing at all times, hand sanitization and wearing mask at all public places.
- All visitors and tourists coming to Ladakh will have to undergo a mandatory 'Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)' at their entry point into Ladakh. Arrangements have already been made for these tests at all the entry points of road and also at the Leh airport for people coming by air. If found positive in this test, visitors will have to undergo a mandatory institutional quarantine or if they don't prefer this, their entry into Ladakh will be refused by the administration.
- In all the residential areas, containment zones are declared by the district administration at a micro level from time to time as and when required. A strict lockdown is enforced in all the containment zones. So all visitors are required to stay out of all containment zones.
- All vulnerable persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are strongly advised not to travel except for essential or health reasons. These persons are advised to stay at home as much as possible.
- Any tourist/visitor found violating any of the above guidelines at any time during their visit to Ladakh may face legal action against them.
All tourists planning a trip to Ladakh must confirm their bookings and reservations with the local staff or contacts of the hotel, guest house or their tour operator. Even after making advance bookings at all places, your travel depends on the will of local people to allow tourists to visit their area. People living at remote places like the villages in Ladakh are a little more apprehensive about the pandemic situation. Tourists must respect the will of these people and plan their trip accordingly.
For Hotels, Guest Houses, Hospitality Services
- All hotels, guest houses, homestays and other hospitality services can reopen and operate their business but they must follow all SOPs and guidelines issued by the central government for hotel industry. Any hotel or guest house accepting booking of their guests will have to ensure that they follow all necessary guidelines given by the government. They are required to maintain a complete travel history of all their guests. They will also conduct a daily screening of their guests. Report of this daily screening will be submitted to district administration.
- Hotel, guest house and homestay owners must ensure social distancing, wearing of mask at common places and hand sanitizers/soap availability to all their guests as well as staff members. They must ensure regular cleaning and thorough sanitization of all common places in their property. District administration will inspect these facilities from time to time.
Please note that despite the government reopening tourism and domestic travel for all visitors and tourists, everyone must ensure that they strictly follow the safety guidelines related to Covid-19. Never forget to wear a face mask at a public place and while traveling. Please maintain adequate social distance from others and maintain very good hand hygiene at all times. It is our collective responsibility to keep the people living in remote Himalayan region of Ladakh safe.
Disclaimer: These guidelines have just been extracted from publicly available sources and compiled for the sole purpose of informing the Tourists. If you need more information, please read the official guidelines given by the administration of Union Territory of Ladakh. Himalayan High will not be responsible for your safe travel in any way.
For more official information, please read:
Official Website of the Union Territory of Ladakh
Covid-19 Website of the Union Territory of Ladakh
Latest Official Covid-19 Unlock Guidelines for UT of Ladakh PDF