1. As soon as Kullu-Manali received fresh snowfall this year, there was a rush of tourists to these places. The occupancy rate of hotels hit 70% and above. However, the district administration has now decided to close the Atal Tunnel on the Manali-Leh highway. This will stop tourists from moving ahead to Lahaul, Spiti Valley, and beyond.
2. On 20th December, the UK removed all the countries from its red travel list. The countries include Angola, Malawi, Eswatini, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Removal means that inbound passengers from these nations will not have to be part of the mandatory hotel quarantine any more. All passengers who had pre-booked hotel rooms for quarantine are entitled to a refund.
3. Even as India gears to fight the latest Covid variant, Omicron, four states have banned all kinds of public celebrations and mass gatherings on 31st December 2021. The states are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, and neighboring Uttar Pradesh.
In Karnataka, no celebrations with DJs will be allowed. Maharashtra has already imposed Section 144 till the year end. In UP, midnight mass in churches will be by invitation. Hotels and clubs have been directed not to organize New Year parties. In Delhi, no form of gatherings or congregations in public will be allowed on 24th or 31st December.
4. The Big Ben in London, on the Thames River, has been under renovation since 2017. The new face of the iconic landmark (partially) was unveiled in November this year. On 31st December 2021, the clock tower will announce the beginning of the New Year by chiming twelve times at 00:00 hours. The all-new tower is equipped with brown glass panels, Prussian blue hands, and numerals.
5. India’s longest highway, the Ganga Expressway, had its foundation ceremony in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh last week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the project. The proposed highway will be 594km long, have six lanes, and cost about INR 36,200 crore.
Starting from Bijauli village on NH334 near Meerut, the highway will connect Meerut with Prayagraj, passing through Hapur, Shahjahanpur, RaeBareli, and other cities.Book your flights