North Bengal, Darjeeling and Kalimpong areas of West Bengal have a very special place on the tourism map of India. The tea estates of Darjeeling and the grand views of Kanchenjunga always standing tall above the horizon mesmerize everyone. The beauty of Darjeeling town and the Darjeeling hills railway have a vintage charm attached to them. Most importantly, this area is also home to the popular trekking destination of Sandakphu and Phalut. This is one of most popular and loved treks in India for all the trekking and adventure enthusiasts.
Check Details of Sandakphu - Phalut trek
All these things were off limits for tourism for almost 6 months due to Covid-19 lockdown. But now hotels and guest houses in this area have been allowed to reopen in the Unlock 4 phase and so tourism activities have started again from September, 2020.
Below is a summary of guidelines for tourists and visitors coming to this area issued by the Tourism Department of Govt of West Bengal.
For tourists coming to North Bengal - Darjeeling
- On September 5, the government of West Bengal permitted hotels outside the containment zones in Darjeeling Kalimpong area to resume services. All the hotels, resorts, homestays and vacation homes need to strictly adhere to the protocols of social distancing.
- Tourists need to wear face masks and undergo mandatory thermal checks at the hotels. They need to follow social distancing at all public places at all times.
- At Siliguri’s Bagdogra Airport (nearest airport to Darjeeling), health authorities will take quarantine decisions for passengers with symptoms on a case-by-case basis. There is no mandatory quarantine period for any asymptomatic tourist.
- All tourists and visitors coming to Darjeeling and Sandakphu area must use 'Aarogya Setu' application on their phone. Application should show their status as 'Safe (Green)'.
- All tourists need to fill up the declaration form using the 'Sandhane' App developed by the Health and Family Welfare Department of West Bengal.
- COVID-19 test reports are not mandatory for tourists coming to Darjeeling and Sandakphu. However, symptomatic visitors will be treated on case-by-case basis.
All tourists planning a trip to Darjeeling - Sandakphu 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 North Bengal are a little more apprehensive about the pandemic situation. Tourists must respect the will of these people and plan their trip accordingly.
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 regions 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 Tourism department of West Bengal. Himalayan High will not be responsible for your safe travel in any way.
For more official information, please read:
West Bengal Tourism Department Website
Covid-19 Information of West Bengal Tourism Department
Latest Unlock Guidelines of Govt of West Bengal PDF