KOLKATA: In a major decision, the West Bengal government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that all Zoos across the state will reopen from October 2.
The state government also issued a fresh notification saying that all amusement parks and gardens will be reopened for general public from September 23. The state government notification said that visitors will have to make all bookings in this regard online.
Here’s what the state government notification says
“Post COVID 19 pandemic Guidelines for access to Protected Areas, Ecotourism Centres, Parks & Gardens and Zoos of West Bengal
All public places under the control of Forest Department in West Bengal were closed for visitors with effect from 17 March 2020 due to the COVID•19 pandemic.
While the effect of the pandemic is still being felt, in view of the graded unlocking and requirement to restart economic and related activities thereby mitigating avoidable hardships to various stakeholders, it has been decided to allow public to access various establishments of the Forest Department with appropriate restrictions in view of the Pandemic.
The following guidelines are to be accordingly followed at all such locations, in addition to any local restrictions imposed on account of containment zones and other general restrictions for COVID19 as notified by the Government from time to time.
It is appreciated that these guidelines may cause some inconvenience to stakeholders, but in view of the paramount priority to be given to their health and safety, forbearance with strict adherence is requested.
1. General Guidelines
a. All entry tickets and bookings etc. shall be made online. b. Guests aged less than 10 years or more than 65 years are advised to travel as per Restriction regulations/ guidelines in vogue. c. Wearing of face cover and following all norms of social distancing is mandatory for all guests. d. Every vehicle/boat/launch that shall operate in the areas unlocked will have to carry sanitizer at all times, for use of passengers. e. There will be no elephant safari at any location till further.orders. g. Besides these Guidelines, the Park Authorities may close any portion or facility at short notice, or impose any other restrictions temporarily, for preventing the spread of COVID19.
2. At Entry Gates a. Temperature checks will be conducted for all the guests at the entry point. Any guest whose body temperature is higher than normal will not be allowed to enter. No refund will be given for such guests on the entry fee, if already paid. Each Online Booking Site / Ticket counter shall prominently display such Notice. b. All vehicles will be sanitized by spraying sanitizer of the approved alcohol-based variety of. No bleach, peroxide or ammonia-based sanitizer is to be used. The vehicle is to be parked in a designated spot for the purpose. For closed vehicles, all windows are to be rolled up prior to spraying. For open vehicles, all passengers, including the driver are to disembark and stand at least 2 meters away from the vehicle while it is being sanitized. c. Staff at entry gates must ensure that visitors have washed or sanitized their hands before entry and are wearing face covers/ shields.
3. National Parks and Sanctuaries a. No person shall exit the vehicle except at designated places. b. All tourist vehicles will have one seat vacant between passengers. c. At designated places where guests are allowed to disembark, such as watchtowers etc., the limit of persons allowed at any given time will be limited to 20 (twenty) persons only. This will be controlled by the number of vehicles allowed access to the site and will be enforced by the designated guide of the vehicle. All such locations shall be sanitized twice during the course of the day, once when the tower Is opened and next at mid-time.