Goa, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, has opened its doors for domestic visitors starting 2 July.
The state has been shut for travellers since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March, to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As Goa reopens its doors to tourists, here's what you need to know:
Is it safe to go on vacations and trips right now?
Not really. The number the cases across the country is spiking every day, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recommends that people step out of their homes only for essential purposes.
How is the situation in Goa?
As on 3 July, there are at least 740 active coronavirus patients in the state. On 2 July, when the state opened for domestic tourists, it also witnessed the biggest single-day spike with 95 people testing positive for COVID-19.
I want to visit Goa. Shoud I get tested for coronavirus before visiting?
Tourists will have to carry COVID-19 negative certificates to enter the state.
If they don't have one, they will have to undergo a test at the airport/or the road border and undergo institutional quarantine till the results arrive.
What happens if a tourist tests positive for coronavirus in Goa?
In this case, people will have to quarantine themselves in the state for at least 14 days and return only upon recovery.
But, how do I get COVID-19 test if I do not show any symptoms?
As per latest government guidelines, only those people who show symptoms of coronavirus and their primary contacts (even if they are asymptomatic) are eligible to get tested for the virus.
Therefore, it is not clear how a person can get COVID-19 negative certificate for visiting Goa.
What happens when I return to my home state? Will I have to undergo quarantine?
Yes, you have to undergo qurantine as per your state's protocol.
For example, if someone from Delhi visits Goa, then on return they have to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.
However, if they show symptoms on arrival, they will be sent to institutional quarantine. This would differ from state to state.
Are there restrictions on booking a place of stay?
Yes, the state government has allowed only 250 hotels and resorts that have registered with them to reopen.
The hotels and homestays that have not registered are not allowed to entertain guests or offer online bookings.
What are the general precautions that I must follow when in a restaurant?
- Room service to be encouraged, instead of dine-in
- The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities prior to allowing home deliveries
- Seating arrangements to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained. In restaurants, not more than 50 percent of seating capacity to be permitted
- Disposable menus are advised to be used
- Instead of cloth napkins, use of good quality disposable paper napkins to be encouraged
- Buffet service should also follow social distancing norms among patrons
What precautions should be taken by individuals while visiting public places?
- Face covers/masks have to be worn at all times
- Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be maintained as far as feasible
- Spitting shall be strictly prohibited
- Do not enter a store/restaurant/beach if it is crowded
Has the government issued specific SOPs for visiting beaches?
No, the government has not issued specific SOPs in this regard yet. Watch this space for updates on this.
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