Shimla: Keeping the potential threat of the third wave of coronavirus in the mind, the Shimla district administration has decided to restrict the gathering of tourists as well as the locals at the Ridge and The Mall, Shimla.

Furthermore, the Shimla administration has decided not to allow young people to sit on the benches at the Ridge and The Mall road. Only senior citizens will be allowed to sit on benches.

For this, the district administration has also decided to remove several benches from these places.

Police personnel deployed at the entry points of the mall and the ridge will aware people about social distancing norms. These decisions will be implemented soon.

A meeting of the Hotel Association, bus and taxi operators and Vyapar Mandal under the chairmanship of Shimla Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi was held to prepare for the possible third wave of coronavirus.

Negi said that these decisions were being taken to avoid the possible third wave of the pandemic and by keeping a higher influx of tourists in the mind.

He said that the police personnel would urge the people to leave the crowded places if there is already enough crowd.

“Similar steps will be taken at other places in Shimla to control the crowd. Thereafter necessary steps will be taken based on the outcome of these decisions” he added.

He further said that samples of the employees associated with Vyapar Mandal and the tourism industry will be taken on a monthly basis, the list of which will be given to the administration by the committee.

Ever since the restriction imposed to control the second wave of the pandemic was eased by the government, tourists, as well as the locals, started to visit Shimla in large numbers. To send the majority of the people are been seen openly flouting social distancing norms while strolling at popular tourist places in the town. This has increased the chances of a possible third wave of the pandemic.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.