Panaji: Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Wednesday (July 1) announced that the coastal state will be open to tourists starting from Thursday (July 2), as India entered into the Unlock 2.0 phase of its COVID-19 lockdown. As many as 250 hotels have been granted permission to resume operations that can operate in keeping with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) put in place by the state government. The decision to restart tourism activities was taken during a state cabinet meeting, the minister said.
Goa, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, has remained shut for travellers since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March. “We have decided to allow domestic travellers to enter Goa from July 2 onwards provided they comply with certain norms,” the minister said.
However, all the tourists entering the state will have to comply with the following set of norms:
- Tourists from outside Goa will have to show certificates attesting to their COVID-19 negative status. They will also have an option to get tested at the state border and stay in quarantine until their results come out. The government is working on getting the results within 24 hours.
- If anyone turns out to be COVID-19 positive, they can either return to their home state or stay back in Goa to get treated.
- Tourists will have to pre-book the hotels. They can select from a list of 250 hotels that have been approved by the tourism department.
- Homestays that haven’t been recognised by the tourism department to reopen business will not be allowed to entertain guests. It has been deemed illegal.
Goa is among the less affected areas in the country with 1684 active cases with 828 recovered and six deaths so far. It remained a green zone for quite some time before seeing a spike in cases again. A lot of famous shacks like Curlies and some other restaurants have opened while bars and night clubs are yet to receive a signal.