The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Saturday directed the provinces to devise Tourism Guidelines guidelines for managing tourism in order to avert a second wave of coronavirus infections, said an official press release.
The NCOC meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, discussed opening up of the tourism sector with standard operating procedures (SOPs), Tourism Guidelines, and safety guidelines for the containment of the disease.
The forum highlighted that violations of SOPs have been observed at almost all tourist destinations, emphasising if tourism is not managed adequately, it might lead to another virus outbreak.
The administrations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were requested to make all efforts to enforce SOPs on incoming tourists.
The SOPs and Guidelines include the usage of facemask and density control, meaning a limited number of tourists can be allowed at a time.
The meeting decided that other provinces must take measures to control the flow of tourists to various destinations.
“For next three weeks, special efforts to ramp up testing and contact tracing of tourists through establishing of special sentinel sites at tourist spots and airports will be ensured,” stated the official press release.
It added that the detailed SOPs and Tourism Guidelines have already been issued, however, the Ministry of Health will formulate and issue special guidelines and action plan for tourist management.
Pakistan lifts COVID-19 restrictions as cases drop
The federal government had on Thursday announced to further ease lockdown restrictions as the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline.
While briefing in the decisions taken by the National Coordination Committee (NCC), Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said dine-in restaurants and beauty salons would reopen across Pakistan on August 10 as the efforts against the coronavirus pandemic seem to bear fruit. The tourism is open with SOPs and Tourism Guidelines.