The Goa government will make it mandatory for people to be fully vaccinated or carry a COVID-19 negative report to attend parties or enter restaurants in the coastal state, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said today. This would be valid for all New Year celebrations too across the state.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Sawant said district administrations will issue a notification to this effect later this evening.
He said organisers of various events in Goa would have to ensure that the guests carry these certificates.
The Goa government on Tuesday decided not to impose night curfew in the coastal state for now so that the tourism business amid the Christmas-New Year festival season is not affected.
Mr Sawant had said his government was monitoring the COVID-19 positivity rate and stringent decisions would be taken during the meeting of the task force scheduled to be held on January 3 in case this rate rises.
Ahead of the New Year celebration, there is currently about 90 per cent occupancy in hotels in the state, while beaches are already overcrowded with revellers, tourism industry stakeholder said.
Chartered flights from the UK have already started arriving in the state, after a nearly year-long gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president Nilesh Shah said there have been five to seven per cent cancellations in hotel bookings, but the season is “overall good”.
“The end of the year has always been a good season for the tourism industry. The hotel occupancy is around 90 per cent during these days, which will increase by the New Year,” Mr Shah told PTI.
“It is a good sign that we are getting back to normalcy,” Mr Shah said, adding that the tourism industry has learnt to do business with COVID-19 protocols in place.
He said the commencement of the chartered flights has provided work to musicians, other artists and tourist guides in the state during the current tourist season.
Goa reported its first case of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus on Monday after an eight-year-old boy who arrived in the state from the UK on December 17 was found to be tested positive for the Omicron variant in the state.
On Tuesday, Goa reported a sudden spike in coronavirus cases with 112 people testing positive for the infection, the state health department said. On Monday the coastal state had recorded 67 cases.
The caseload on Tuesday rose to 1,80,229, while the number of deaths reached 3,520 with one patient dying due to the infection, as per official data.