If you're Indian and are making a vacation plan with your friends, you must have considered one spot for sure: Goa.
Every tourist's favorite getaway, the state is famous for its thriving tourist industry, which has been suffering immensely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, the Goa Airport announced it had done away with a rule which laid down that domestic travellers must carry COVID-19 negative certificates on arrival. The move came after the Union Home Ministry issued guidelines as part of 'Unlock 4' under which many restrictions in place for the coronavirus outbreak were eased.
In a tweet, Goa Airport said, "As per announcements by the Govt of Goa restrictions on interstate travel have been removed in line with guidelines of Govt of India. No more Covid19 negative report and no more test requirements for Domestic travellers." In another tweet, it said, "Goa Intn'l Airport on an upswing. Air India starts the connection between Goa and Surat from 6th Sept onwards. The flight initially on Sundays, arriving Goa from Surat at 1005 hrs and departing to Surat at 1105 hrs."
However, locals in Goa weren't too pleased about it: While they realized the tourist industry, which is one of the major sources of revenue for Goa was important, they realized it would mean an influx of new cases, which the healthcare of the state may not be equipped for.
I ma just so worried at how f**ked up Goa is going to get in the coming months. We have the worst tourists in the country and now with no mandatory testing, it's going to be hell. If i was scared for my family before, I am terrified now.— Joanna (@thatdoggonelady) September 2, 2020
Lifting mandatory testing is literally like lifting last line of defence right now.— BeingNita (@VinithaShetty) September 2, 2020
please please do not come to Goa for a holiday. we have a largely rural healthcare system and a deeply indifferent government - we cannot cope, we are already barely coping.if you have any respect or fondness for this state, PLEASE don't come here. please, just...don't. https://t.co/TMzA68uLRh— richa kaul padte (@hirishitalkies) September 3, 2020
to be clear: i know the tourism industry has been hit v v badly, and that its most vulnerable workers are suffering. which means the Goa govt needs to STOP wasting money on environmentally devastating projects and STEP IN to support shacks, bars, hotels, and their workers.— richa kaul padte (@hirishitalkies) September 3, 2020
opening Goa for tourism with zero safeguards will not 'support' the lives of our most vulnerable residents. who do you think will be prioritized when the healthcare system is overwhelmed? daily wage workers who rely on the tourism industry - or wealthy tourists?— richa kaul padte (@hirishitalkies) September 3, 2020
Even after the situation being out of control this is what our #GoaGovernment @DrPramodPSawant does! A humble request to all #tourists , please don't even think of coming to Goa rn.The situation is really bad.We are the smallest state,lesser population and more cases. #CoviD19 pic.twitter.com/nbVaVqL501— Disha Nayak Sardesai (@dishhkyaau) September 2, 2020
After remaining closed for more than five months, Goa's bars and restaurants opened for customers on Tuesday as the state government eased COVID-19-enforced restrictions in line with the Centre's guidelines for Unlock 4.