Darjeeling has gone out of bounds for tourists all over again, as a sudden spike in the number of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has led the Bengal government impose a fresh lockdown in containment and buffer zones across the state. Under this backdrop, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has taken an official stand to ask tourists to not visit Darjeeling till July 31. The situation will be reviewed before July 31 to decide whether the restriction will be lifted or not.

The GTA and hotels’ associations were asking people to visit Darjeeling when the lockdown was gradually being lifted. But right now, with the situation a cause of concern across the state, including Darjeeling. Officials in the hill town said that though Darjeeling depends on tourists and the owners of hotels were keen on welcoming visitors for a while as the country entered the unlock period, right now there is no other option but to restrict the entry of tourists.

The total number of COVID-19 cases have now reached 23,837 in West Bengal, with 804 deaths so far. There have been 684 COVID-19 positive cases in Darjeeling district, out of which 234 are active cases. Altogether, 440 persons have been treated and discharged and there have been 10 deaths so far. The last reported case in Darjeeling has been on July 6.

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