Beaches, parks and museums in Kerala have now opened for tourists, marking the resumption of tourism activities after they have remained shut for eight months. The move, as part of reviving the tourism sector following the outbreak of the pandemic, comes close on the heels of the opening of tourist destinations and services across the state on 10 October.
In the first phase of unlocking, the state had earlier reopened hill station, backwater tourism, houseboats and adventure resorts.
“Tourism Department officials are making extra efforts to ensure that the guidelines are followed to the last detail,” P. Bala Kiran, tourism director of Kerala said. Boards featuring dos and don’ts are being put up, and walkways, handrails and shelters are being sprayed with sanitisers at regular intervals.
Tourism police will be posted, if necessary, to help Kudumbashree volunteers and lifeguards. A register will be kept at the entry for entering details of visitors.
For parks and museums, online ticketing/SMS booking will be explored to the extent possible at gated entries. Vehicles will be allowed at parking areas for up to a maximum of one hour. Strict instructions have been issued to street vendors to follow COVID-19 protocol. Cleaning and fumigation of toilets and restrooms will be taken up at regular intervals.
“It is significant that we are reopening our beaches, including destinations such as Kovalam,” tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said. As per the SOP issued by the government, visitors will have to wear mask, use soap and sanitizer and follow physical distancing at destinations.
Tourists coming for visits of less than seven days are exempted from quarantine but should register on the COVID-19 Jagratha portal.