Let the nature heal the wounds
The implementation of lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus had brought the tourist activities to a grinding halt all of a sudden in March 2019 ruining the entire season. Now, the opening of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the country has given some reasons to celebrate to travellers and specially wildlife enthusiasts.
The natural instinct of people to indulge in some adventure with adequate precautionary measures is best displayed in the number of people choosing destinations such as Corbett National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park or Ranthambore National Park where crowd is less with stepped up emphasis on maintaining hygiene standards.
Thermal screening is compulsory and wearing of masks and gloves is non-negotiable. Support staff is required to wear head covering throughout their duty hours. Cleaning and disinfection protocols are carried out at regular intervals in all areas frequented by visitors, with special attention to drinking water points and washrooms. Queues have to be maintained with prescribed distancing limits maintained. There are separate sales counters for sanitiser, security kit, masks and gloves etc.
Irrespective of the fact that national parks and wildlife sanctuaries have put in place strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the enthusiasm of the tourists has only surged indicating a lot of pent up demand. There is a broad consensus that wildlife sanctuaries and national parks are safer options for travel as compared to other options like beaches and monuments that often get too overcrowded.
The online booking of safaris and forest rest houses has been picking up steadily indicating that tourists are eager to come back as long as they are assured of their health and safety. It is true that as we enter the new normal world, rules will have to be made and tweaked according to the prevailing situation there a frequent check on advisories is advisable before making final plans.