The High Court has allowed the application by the State government where people who are fully vaccinated, post 14 days of their second dose can enter Goa without an RT PCR negative test or an rapid antigen test, Adv Nikhil Pai who represented the petitioners the South Goa Advocates Association has said.
The High Court’s orders paves the way for the two District Collectors to modify their orders under Section 144 and allow all persons who are fully vaccinated to enter the State without producing a Covid negative certificate.
Prior to this only certain classes of persons -- the workforce, i.e. persons who enter the State of Goa for purposes of work in industries, labour force, construction, etc; persons who enter the State of Goa for purposes of business and employment; residents of Goa, who are now stranded outside Goa for pandemic-related or other such issue and residents of Goa who, on account of their work requirements/medical reasons, are required to travel outside the State of Goa and return to the State after a few days were allowed to enter without a negative certificate provided they were fully vaccinated.
Children above two years of age will have to come with an RT PCR test. Children below two years of age if they are symptomatic they will have to carry an RT PCR test if they are asymptomatic they need not carry an RT PCR test.
For the purposes of entry of ‘fully vaccinated persons’ the High Court has gone by the definition offered by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) which considers a person fully vaccinated if “it has been two or more weeks since the persons have received the final dose of recommended schedule and remains asymptomatic since current Covid-19 exposure”.
When asked if the High Court has passed any orders concerning the possible third wave Adv Pai informed that since the petition is still pending I'm sure the government will take adequate steps.”
“If not then the High Court can look into the issue and issue fresh directions when it wants to like how in the initial beginning when some petitions were filed the HC had intervened and made some orders that could be passed that the government could be put into action,” he said.
The High Court had, back in May, prohibited people from entering the state unless they have a Covid negative certificate saying that a free for all could not be allowed considering how ‘alarming’ the situation was back then. The orders came despite protests from the State government who claimed it would lead to a virtual blockade along the border.
Those who are not vaccinated will have to continue to produce negative certificates.