The Goa government has announced a state-wide curfew from 7 am on May 9 to 7 am on May 24 as Covid-19 infections saw an over ten-fold rise in a month. On Saturday, there were 32,387 active cases in the state of which 3,751 were new. The positivity rate in the state on Saturday was 46.22 per cent. Calling it a ‘curfew’ and not a lockdown, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday that the curfew in the state would be stricter than any lockdown.
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Casinos, bars, shops selling non-essential goods, sports complexes, auditoria, community halls, river cruises, water parks, gyms, salons, massage parlours, cinema halls, swimming pools, schools, educational institutions, colleges, weekly markets, fish markets and local panchayat markets will remain closed. While restaurants will remain closed, their kitchens have been allowed to operate for providing food deliveries. Religious places will remain closed for the public, but their custodians will be allowed to carry out their activities as usual.
Events like social, political or cultural functions, marriages, parties and other congregations have been prohibited. Gathering of more than five persons will not be allowed in public places without permission from the district administration in both North and South Goa. Up to 20 people will be allowed for carrying out last rites.
While so far the state government had not mandated any screening of tourists for Covid-19 entering the state, from May 10, tourists entering the state will have furnish either an RT-PCR test report showing their Covid-19 negative status, taken not more than 72 hours prior to entering the state, or a certificate of vaccination. Goa Director General of Police M K Meena said on Saturday that checks will be put in place at border districts along with the district administration and entry without the mandatory test report or vaccination certificate will not be allowed for tourists. These conditions will, however, not apply to residents of Goa returning to the state or those entering the state for work. The state government had informed the High Court of Bombay at Goa last week that the workforce in the state included people coming to Goa from border districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Hotels and the hospitality sector have been allowed to remain open for in-house guests, residents and their staff.
Medical stores, banks, ATMs, insurance, customs clearance, microfinance institutions, medical and health services including AYUSH, veterinary hospital and laboratories will be allowed to operate as usual. Shops selling groceries, eatables, animal fodder, PDS distribution outlets, will be allowed to remain open from 7 am to 1 pm. These shops will also be allowed to provide home deliveries. Standalone liquor shops will also be allowed to be open during the same hours but only for takeaways. Home delivery of liquor has been prohibited. E-commerce companies, large brick-and-mortar stores, facilities related to the supply chain of essential goods, industries, factories, construction and related activities including repairs, agriculture and related activities, cold storages and warehousing services have all been allowed to operate.
Offices of the central and state government, local bodies, courts and operations of railways and the airport have been allowed to go on. So have public utilities, LPG cylinder services, power generation and transmission units, post and courier offices, water, sanitation and related activities, vehicle repair and hardware shops. Media, telecommunication and internet services have also been exempted from the restrictions.
According to the order issued by the Collectors of North and South Goa, “Operations of homes for children/disabled/mentally challenged/ senior citizens/ destitutes/ women/ widows etc.” have also been allowed. Canteens and restaurants within establishments allowed to operate have also been allowed to run.
Meena said on Saturday that those stepping out of their homes for vaccination against Covid-19 or medical assistance will not be restricted.