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Thursday, 23 April, 2020, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

'Ignore such messages': Tourism Ministry rejects letter on closing of hotels till October 15 due to COVID-19

The Ministry of Tourism has rejected letter on closing of hotels and restaurants till October 15 due to coronavirus outbreak and asked people to only believe the official communication.

"It has been noticed by the Ministry of Tourism that a fake letter claiming that hotels/restaurants will remain closed till 15th October 2020 due to Coronavirus outbreak doing the rounds in social media in the name of Ministry of Tourism and creating panic among whole tourism sector. The Ministry of Tourism has clarified that no such letter has been issued by Ministry of Tourism and people must not believe such kind of fake news," it said.

Requesting people not to pay heed to such messages, the ministry said that no letter has been issued by them on closing of hotels and restaurants till October 15.

"The Ministry of Tourism requests all to disregard the fake message about closure of hotels/restaurants circulating on Whatsapp," it said in a statement. The ministry further said that the matter is now under the investigation by the Cyber Crime Unit of the Mumbai Police.

Ministry warns of strict action

It also warned against the circulation of fake news, saying those involved in such activities will be punished under relevant laws.

"Anybody found to be circulating, publishing or spreading the fake news will be liable under applicable laws," the statement read.

"The respective authorities are empowered to take suitable action against such individuals, including but not limited to initiation of criminal proceedings under relevant laws," it added.

PIB Fact Check Unit also trashed the report

Earlier, the PIB Fact Check Unit had also issued denials but the fake message continued to circulate on social media. The unit also tweeted the picture of fake Tourism Ministry's order on closure of hotels and restaurants and asked people not to believe in rumours.
 
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