Tourist spots and entertainment centres have reopened across the country on Thursday amid lax adherence to health guidelines by tourists and lack of monitoring by the authorities concerned.
Tourist spots and recreation centres, including beaches, resorts, hotels, theme parks, and zoos, were closed in the country since April this year to contain the spread of coronavirus.
“We are happy to reopen our hotels after around five months. We have been instructed to operate hotels at half capacity maintaining health guidelines. We are strictly following the government directives,” said Rashed Ahmed, deputy manager of Hotel Cox Today in Cox’s Bazar.
He also said the hotel authorities are yet to receive adequate bookings but they are hopeful that the number of tourists will gradually increase.
Meanwhile, hundreds of tourists flocked the Cox’s Bazar sea beach before the weekend. Jharna Chowdhury, a beach-bound tourist, said, “Life turned monotonous due to continuous restrictions. Children were expecting a change. That is why I and my husband have brought them here.”
Many tourists were seen moving without wearing face masks. Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Md Mamunur Rashid visited the beach in the morning and instructed all to maintain hygiene rules.
“We are monitoring the movements of the tourists. Tourist police are trying to make them aware. Several teams led by our magistrates are working round the clock,” he said.
Kuakata sea beach in Patuakhali district also saw a low turnout of travellers because of rain. According to local hotel owners, some tourists did not visit the beach even after reaching Kuakata though many enjoyed the marine beauty ignoring the weather. However, most of them did not wear any face masks. Khagrachari’s resorts and hotels and tourist spots including Alutila, Rishang Jharna, Horticulture Park, Devta Pukur, Mayabini Lake, Taiduchhara Jharna were ready to welcome tourists but the number of tourists was limited on the first day.
Tourist spots and hotels and resorts in Sylhet also saw a low turnout of travellers.
Authorities did not allow tourists in several tourist destinations like Sundarbans in Bagerhat and Khulna while travellers wishing to visit Lawachara National Park had to go back as the park did not reopen.
The tourism and recreation centres of the country were closed from March 18 to August 16 last year. All tourist spots were closed again amid the second wave of coronavirus since April 1 this year.