All hotels in Naran, Kaghan and Shogran have not been sealed
Claim: Hotels in Naran, Kaghan and Shogran have been sealed shut due to the discovery of recent Covid-19 cases in the region.
Fact: This claim is false, at least two hotels in Naran and one in Shogran are open and fully operational. Moreover, the managers of these hotels say that authorities never told them to close.
In the last few days, a number of news organisations have reported that all restaurants and hotels in Naran, Kaghan and Shogran have been sealed due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the region. Some of these news reports can be found here, here and here. It was also reported that travelling restrictions were placed on the region because 47 new cases of Covid-19 were detected in the area. This news quickly gained traction across social media as users began speculating a second wave of the Covid-19 virus.
Soch Fact Check found these claims to be misleading. While it is true that 47 new cases of Covid-19 emerged after 800 people in the region were tested at random; only five areas considered to be hotspots were placed under lockdown. In a letter to the Manshera District Administration, the Director General of the Kaghan Development Authority proposed a smart lockdown on these five places— three restaurants and two hotels.
Soch Fact Check spoke with the manager and owner of Greenland Hotel in Shogran, as well as the managers of Swiss Wood Cottages and Fairy Meadows Hotel in Naran. Saad Ali Shah from Greenland Hotel said he was not told to close his hotel, even for one day. This statement was reiterated by Muhabbat Khan, the manager of Swiss Wood Cottages, as well as Hotel Fairy Meadows manager Ikram Ullah. All three managers stated that they had only been advised by authorities to strictly adhere to SOPs and disinfect premises regularly, as tourists coming from other places could be carrying Covid-19. Ikram Ullah, further added that only a handful of restaurants were closed for a short time, and were reopened soon after disinfecting, including the well-known Moon Restaurant.
Summary: Recent news reports claiming all hotels in Naran, Kaghan and Shogran have been sealed are false. Soch Fact Check confirmed that at least three hotels in the aforementioned areas are open and running.