September 18, 2021 7:09:23 pm
In a bid to revive the tourism sector in Goa, the state task force has recommended the government to reopen all tourism activities from September 20, Monday. Casinos, spas and nightclubs can also be functional from Monday with 50 per cent capacity, provided people are fully vaccinated or produce a Covid-19 negative test report.
The government will soon issue the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for this.
Meanwhile, the task force will convene another meeting to evaluate the Covid-19 situation and decide on starting physical classes for students from Class 8 to 12.
“The decision regarding reopening of schools will be taken after monitoring the situation. Physical classes for higher classes are likely to begin from October. The decision regarding reopening of school for primary classes will be taken after Diwali,” said Dr Shekhar Salkar, an official from the state government’s expert committee for Covid management.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the state will now play a crucial role in reviving tourism. He was speaking at a virtual interaction with Goa’s healthcare workers, doctors, citizens and government functionaries.
“Goa will play a vital role in reviving the tourism sector. Think about it – hotel industry, taxi drivers, hawkers, shopkeepers – when they are all vaccinated, even tourists will come with a feeling of safety. Now, Goa is among the few international tourist destinations where people have received the protection of the vaccine. We all wish that in the coming tourism season, there should be the same tourism activity as before, that tourists from the country and abroad enjoy themselves here,” he said.
“This will be possible only when we pay the same attention to corona safety measures as we did for vaccination. The infections have reduced but, even now, we cannot take this virus lightly. The more focus there is on safety and hygiene, the more number of tourists will arrive here,” Modi said in the virtual interaction attended by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union Ministers of State Shripad Naik and Bharati Pawar, and ministers from the state cabinet, among others.
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