SHILLONG: Meghalaya will be open to tourists from December 21 for the first since the COVID-19 pandemic made its way into the country earlier this year, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said on Tuesday.
Travellers, however, will have to adhere to a host of guidelines and health protocols to visit the 'Land of Clouds', he said.
"#Meghalaya reopens its #Tourism from 21st December, 2020. The Home of Clouds looks forward to welcoming you," Sangma said on Twitter.
A Tourism Department official said registration would be made mandatory through a dedicated app of Meghalaya Tourism, along with standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in place to ensure the safety of everyone.
Visitors will have to upload their photo identity on the app and provide the complete tour itinerary besides showing proof of confirmed booking, the official said.
Upon successful registration, tourists will receive an e-invite which will have to be produced at the entry checkpoint together with a COVID-19 negative certificate not more than 72 hours old.
The state government has also set up a Facilitation Centre at Umling in Ri Bhoi district, where those visiting the state are to mandatorily check in, he said.
Meghalaya Rural Tourism Forum Chairperson Alan West welcomed the decision, and urged visitors to strictly follow COVID-19 protocols.
In 2019, over 1.2 million domestic and international tourists had visited the state.