KERALA

Ecotourism centres to reopen on Aug. 19

The ecotourism centres which have remained closed for visitors for five months will reopen on August 19. The facilities will operate under stringent curbs in line with the COVID-19 protocol.

Chief Wildlife Warden Surendrakumar, who issued an order in this regard recently, said the ecotourism centres would reopen in a phased manner by streamlining visitor entry.

The decision was taken in view of the plight of forest-dependent marginalised communities, 2,000 people were directly and nearly 70,000 indirectly affected by the closure of the centres.

COVID protocol

Complying with the guidelines of the Centre’s Unlock 3.0 and those laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Forest Department will prohibit entry for children aged below 10 years and people aged over 65 years to the ecotourism centres. While stay and dining will remain prohibited during the initial phase of reopening, food parcels will be made available.

Allied activities including trekking, safari, museum, eateries and eco shops will also resume with tight visitor management measures in place.

Ticket booking can only be done online. Trekking will be permitted during daytime alone. Only seven people will be permitted in each batch for the purpose.

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