Tuesday 15 Jun 2021

Babu bats for tourism, but for only those who are fully vaccinated

THE GOAN NETWORK | JUNE 11, 2021, 12:53 AM IST


Eager to prepare a roadmap for Goa's tourism sector to limp back to normalcy and on track, Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Thursday batted for "opening up" but restricting entry only to those visitors who have been administered both the vaccine jabs.

Ajgaonkar holds the Tourism portfolio and had earned flak when he famously said the "show must go on" to back Goa liberally opening up to tourists post lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic's first wave of infections last year.

Currently, curfew restrictions imposed in the wake of the devastating second wave of infections, are still in force in Goa up until June 14.

Ajgaonkar said: "My personal opinion is that once vaccination double dose is completed, we should start inviting tourists who have taken both vaccines. We should keep Goa as well as tourists safe." 

Ajgaonkar, however, quickly added that whatever decision the government collectively takes with respect to resuming tourism related activity will be followed by his Tourism Ministry.

Goa, unlike most other States, kept its borders open for unrestricted entry and exit in the western region. Most other States had Covid testing mandatory for inbound visitors.

Presently, while the Goa government has allowed hotels to function, restaurants and other tourism-related activities have been shut due to the curfew, which has been in place in the State since May 9, when Covid-19 cases started peaking.

Finally, Goa was forced to follow suit and make testing compulsory only after Bombay High Court at Goa passed orders recently directing the State to take the step in the face of the spike in Covid cases during the second wave.

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