Goa has finally decided to resume tourist activities from July 2. The state Tourism Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar confirmed on Wednesday.
The Minister also said that he gave permission to 250 hotels to resume operations. Bookings will be allowed only in those hotels which are registered with the tourism department.
Tourists will have to pre-book their stays and would not be permitted to stay in non-registered hotels, such stays would be considered illegal.
As the Minister stated, the decision to restart tourism in Goa was taken during a state cabinet meeting.
On Monday, the state ports minister, Michael Lobo, had remarked that it wouldn’t be possible for tourism activities in the state to resume in July.
Lobo had also suggested that bars in the state should reopen to promote tourism.
A day later, chief minister Pramod Sawant had retorted that they wish to restart the industry this month itself.
However, tourists entering the state will have to follow certain guidelines issued by the government to curb coronavirus.
They will either need to carry a certificate stating that they are Covid-19 negative or will have to get tested at the border and undergo quarantine at a state-run facility till the time that the results arrive.
“People who test positive will be given the option of returning to their respective states or staying back in Goa for treatment,” the minister said.
The Goa government will also be issuing new post Unlock 2.0 SOPs for the state soon.
Goa had also granted approval for resuming shoots in the state by following SOPs and general guidelines.
A popular tourist destination, the Goan economy thrives a lot on tourism. The state welcomed more than 7 million domestic tourists in 2019. With other industries shut and revenues drying up, pressure had been mounting on the state government to restart tourism.
Assuring the government that they would follow all the SOPs and guidelines, the Travel and Tourism of Goa (TTAG) had recently appealed to the government to allow hotels to restart operations at the earliest.