From 3rd August 2021 Tourism activities re-open in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In view of the steady decline in cases of COVID-19 in Andaman Nicobar Islands an order has been issued by the Director of Tourism Department today regarding reopening of all Tourism activities in South Andaman and North Middle Andaman District from today.
The tourists are allowed to visit Baratang/North & Middle Andaman subject to compulsory RAT testing for Andaman Trunk Road commuters which will be carried out at Forest check post on the spot / same day on payment of applicable charges
General Guidelines defined for traveling to Andaman Islands during COVID :
What are the guidelines for testing for tourists coming to Andaman after August 03 2021?
On arrival at Port Blair :
1. The tourists need to carry COVID-19 negative test report from mainland based 1CMR approved lab using Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR). However, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to starting the journey from the origin station. (For e.g. if the tourist takes a flight from Delhi at 0600 hrs. on 1st September, 2021, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken not before 0600 hrs. on 30th August, 2021).
2. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in
institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&N Administration, on rates as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid-19 care centre on case-to-case basis.
3. Tourists may also have to undergo random Rapid Antigen Test conducted from time to time on payment basis as prescribed by A8N Administration.
What if the tourists test positive after arriving at the Andaman Islands?
If the tourists tests positive during their stay in the Islands, he/she will need to undergo institutional isolation as per existing health protocols. The
cost of such isolation for govt. facility will be paid by the tourists as fixed by the administration from time to time.
If the patient wants to stay at hotels, he/she can stay in the hotels if all the conditions below are met:
a) Patients are not symptomatic and not more than 60 years old.
b) Request/ undertaking is made by patient in writing.
c)lf allowed by doctors.
Hotels will make necessary arrangements to designate a part of their rooms for institutional isolation for this purpose.
Diglipur is home to a cluster of extraordinary 41 limestone caves, or as it’s rightly called “Alfred Caves”. The unexplored caves were named after the scientist Alfred who discovered them. These isolated caves lie around 20 kilometres southeast of Diglipur and in close vicinity of Ramnagar beach. A some what lesser-known attraction of Andamans, these limestone caves are remarkably similar to the ones in Baratang and are different because of the geography collocation. A trek through the dense jungle leads you to the natural habitats of Swift let birds which nest in these caves. Their edible nests are auctioned after the birds leave the nests and are quite famed in Chinese cuisine and valued in the world. An hour of walking in the wilderness, this incredible yet challenging trek is not meant for the weak-kneed.
Free of cost, same-day permits are available at Ramnagar beach, from where it’s roughly an hour’s guided jungle trek. Hiring a guide is imperative as finding one’s way through the entwined wild trail sis tedious and nearly impossible. Since it is a challenging trek, visitors must wear a pair of good shoes and carry plenty of water. The most suitable time to explore the caves is from October to April, as during monsoon season the path is slippery and unsafe. A den for swift lets and fruit-eating bats, these caves have a rather narrow entrance, making only a few of them accessible to visitors. It is advisable to respect their habitat while also keeping a look out for these creatures, especially bats. One must also refrain from littering or causing any damage to this natural attraction as the forest department takes strict action against the ones that do.
Alfred Caves are roughly 300 kilometres from Port Blair and 20 kilometres from Diglipur. Located near Ramnagar Beach, one can board a bus from Diglipur bus stand and get down at Ramnagar, where one can hire a guide to take you to the caves. An hour of walking in the wilderness, this is an incredible and challenging trek.
Alfred caves are a cluster of 41 limestone caves that are a nesting ground for the famed edible swiftlets. After an hour of walking under the sun, in the canopy of the trees, one arrives at the opening of these caves. While entering, visitors must be accompanied by a guide or forest personnel who can guide you inside out in the caves. Exploring Alfred Caves takes up a whole day, so it’s advisable to start early in the morning to ensure a timely return. The opening is quite narrow, with caves appearing small and thin yet elongated. Big caves open into a chain of smaller caves inside which get narrower, thus making several caves inaccessible for humans.
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