As tourism came to a crashing halt, the coastal state of Goa incurred heavy losses. However, the state government is wary of reopening travel for fear of increasing COVID-19 caseload and has therefore incorporated rules which require travellers to display their RT PCR tests or their COVID vaccination certificates on arrival.
A media report claims that CM Pramod Sawant told ANI, “The positivity rate of new Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 1.8 per cent to 2 per cent. Therefore, a negative RT-PCR report or a vaccination certificate for both doses is mandatory to visit Goa.” He added that this rule had been put as the festival season approaches, expecting more visitors.
Goa government has been cautious in reopening for tourists and lifting curfews. In fact, the government on Sunday extended till August 9 the ongoing coronavirus induced curfew in the state. The previous curfew deadline was scheduled to end on August 2. However, the administration issued the extension order, in which it said that all the COVID19 related curbs would continue in the state, and no fresh relaxation has been granted.
Previously, the Chief Minister had also stated that tourism activities could only restart after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to everyone in the state.
Although the Travel and Tourism stakeholders have been eager to see the state reopen, an expert committee of health care workers have advised against it and will share their suggestion with the government soon.
A member of the Expert committee told TOI, “All members agreed that tourism couldn’t be allowed when we don’t know when the third wave will hit us, though we expect its impact to be less severe.”
(With inputs from wires)