Borders and bars now open in Goa. What’s more, no COVID tests and e-passes needed, too

TD Editor

It’s time to rejoice as India’s ultimate sun and sand destination is opening up for travel with a new zeal. One no longer needs to get tested for COVID-19 on arrival. Also, there is no need to provide a negative certificate or isolate yourself either. There will be no restrictions on interstate travel as well, and hence an e-pass to drive to the state will no longer be necessary. This was announced by Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant.

The state has also opened up bars from today, with all the necessary precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks and temperature checks. Restaurants and cafes have been open already, and hotels are back in business, too. Barring the beach shacks and casinos as of now, Goa is open for travellers. The beach shacks will remain closed and are likely to open after the monsoon in October. Casinos will remain shut for now.

In May, Goa was declared a green zone, as it was one of the states with the lowest number of cases in India. Since then though, cases have been back on the rise and the state has seen a surge in the number of cases in the past month. By July 22, the cases had climbed to 4,167. As of 31 August, the number is up to 17,004, with nearly 451 new cases in a single day last week. In this context, Sawant added that social distancing norms and MHA guidelines will have to be followed in Goa.

The new development from today will hopefully boost the economy of the state as it is heavily dependent on travel and tourism industry. Goa Tourism is working on a plan with its tourism stakeholders to help in build a suitable recovery plan for the tourism sector and ensure that they emerge stronger after this crisis.

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