Goa has once again extended the COVID-19 induced curfew till September 6. This comes following an uptick in the positivity rate. The curfew in Goa had started on May 9 following the second wave of COVID-19 infections. On August 30, the curfew was extended again, with a few relaxations.
So far, an RT-PCR negative report was required to travel to Goa if you were a tourist, even for those who were fully vaccinated. Only residents of Goa were exempted from taking the test. On August 30, in response to a petition by the state government, the Bombay High Court allowed the entry of fully-vaccinated tourists (after completion of the 14-day period) into the state.
RT-PCR negative reports, however, are mandatory for children between the age of two and 18.
The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) and Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry have also called upon the state's chief minister to reopen borders to foreign arrivals in a bid to reopen the tourism industry.
What do you need if you are travelling to Goa?
Starting August 10, Goa has been open to tourists albeit under curfew regulations. Tourists and residents need to carry an RT-PCR negative report issued 72 hours prior to entry into the state.
Those who are fully vaccinated and have completed 14 days, can enter the state with their vaccination certificate and no longer require an RT-PCR test.
Children above the age of two (until 18) are required to carry a negative RT-PCR test report. Asymptomatic children below the age of two require no test for entry in Goa.
What are the travel guidelines in Goa?
While in Goa, here's what you can and cannot do.
All essential services including healthcare, pharmacies, transport, and construction, are permitted.
- Shops and malls are open till 7 pm.
- Restaurants are open at 50 percent capacity till 11 pm.
- Outdoor and indoor sports remain open but without spectators.
- Social, political and cultural gatherings are allowed at 50 per cent capacity of the venue
- Salons are open. Spas and massage parlours are shut.
- River cruises are shut.
- Gyms can run on 50 per cent capacity.
- Cinema theatres are open at 50 per cent capacity.
- Religious places can permit only 15 people at a time, with Covid appropriate behaviour.
- Casinos remain closed.
- Schools are shut.
How safe is it to travel to Goa?
The lifting of regulations, as evidenced during the second wave is no marker of the state's preparedness for a third.
Goa has, as of August 31, 877 active COVID cases. It has recorded 3,201 cumulative deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
In the month of May, during the second wave, Goa went into lockdown only after the 50 percent test positivity mark had been breached. At 51.65 percent on May 5, Goa's positivity rate was among the highest in the country.
The state suffered a devastating second wave with the most number of deaths per one lakh of population. Delhi came second. A shortage of oxygen at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) claimed 75 lives in four days.
As the fear of a third wave looms large, and Goa opens up to tourism again, throwing caution to the wind may still not be a smart idea.
Updated On: 2021-09-06T13:31:26+05:30