A day after announcing that Goa would re-open its borders to tourists for the first time since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March, the state government Thursday released a list of guidelines for travellers who plan on visiting the coastal state. As many as 250 hotels have been granted permission to resume operations.
Tourists visiting Goa will not be required to quarantine upon arrival. Instead, the government has offered two alternatives — a tourist can either carry a COVID-19 negative certificate issued in the last 48 hours, or get tested at their own cost at the state entry point as soon as they arrive.
The regulations released by the state government have been divided into three sections — before travel, travel, and upon arrival. Tourists are required to pre-book their accommodation at a government-approved hotel prior to their journey. They must also fill up a self declaration form, which will be available at the pre-booked accommodation unit.
The state’s tourist minister Manohar Ajgaonkar Wednesday announced that hotels would be allowed to accept bookings from July 2 onward, news agency PTI reported. “Let’s see how many bookings are received. People are fed up sitting at home. There is demand to restart tourism,” Ajgaonkar said at a press conference. “People who test positive will be given the option of returning to their respective states or staying back in Goa for treatment,” the minister added.
Goa’s Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, meanwhile, said the tourism sector will have to ensure that social distancing norms and strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) are in place as tourists begin entering the state.
The guidelines also lay down the approved state entry points and routes that travellers can opt for if they are planning a holiday to the popular beach getaway. Once they arrive in Goa, all tourists will be required to visit the nearest tourism kiosk, where they will undergo basic thermal screening. They will also have to get their mandatory documents verified, before they are allowed to proceed.
The state has recorded nearly 1,400 positive cases and four deaths due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as per data released by the Union Health Ministry.
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