Tourists visiting Goa will be allowed into the state with only pre-booking hotel stays in registered hotels, which have the “highest safety and hygiene standards”, a new advisory issued by the state Tourism Ministry has said.
The advisory, which was issued late on Thursday, also does away with the concept of mandatory quarantine, giving inbound tourists the option of either arriving in the state with a COVID-19 negative certificate issued by the Indian Council for Medical Research-endorsed laboratory or getting tested at designated entry points into Goa.
“Pre-booking is mandatory to enter Goa. Only hotels with the highest safety and hygiene standards are open,” the advisory states.
“Quarantine upon arrival in Goa is not required. Either carry a Covid-19 negative certificate issued in the last 48 hours or get tested in Goa at your own cost at state entry points,” the advisory adds.
Every tourist entering the state via road, rail or air would be screened with a thermal gun and made to sign a self declaration form with personal details, including location and duration of stay, based on hotel reservation documents, according to the advisory.
In case a tourist does not carry a Covid-19 certificate, a swab sample would be collected at the state’s entry point.
“After the swab collection, go to your accomodation for check-in. You will stay in isolation until the result comes. If (the result) negative, you can stay in Goa. If it is positive, the tourist will be admitted to institutional quarantine,” the advisory also states.
According to state Tourism Director Menino D’Souza 260 hotels have registered with the Tourism Department for resumption of operations, which were hit on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Every registered hotel, according to D’Souza was being examined for hygiene and safety-related infrastructure, including an isolation facility, which has been made mandatory for all registered hotels.
The Goa hotel industry has also welcomed the state government’s decision to restart tourism, with All Goa Hotel Owners Association president Gaurish Dhond claiming that hoteliers were eager to restart and were expecting a good season in the months of October and November. Goa is reckoned as one of the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country. Last year the state attracted nearly eight million tourists.