Kerala

Tourist destinations, except beaches, to open today

An aerial view of the camel hump mountain complex on the Western Ghats in Wayanad.  

Enabling the revival of the tourism industry, all tourist destinations in the State, except beaches, will be open for visitors and domestic tourists from Monday after remaining closed for over six months owing to restrictions to contain COVID-19.

Advancing the plan to open up the sector in a staggered manner by three days in the wake of the arrival of visitors to Wayanad and other places, the government has allowed visitors and domestic tourists to the hill stations, adventure tourism centres, Ayurveda centres, and backwater destinations. Houseboats, safari, and speed boats will also be available for tourists from Monday.

The government has issued orders for the two-phase opening up of the tourism sector adhering to COVID-19 protocols. Visitors and domestic tourists will be allowed at beach destinations only in Phase II, beginning on November 1.

Guidelines

All domestic tourists will have to register on www.covid19jagratha.kerala.nic.in and will have to follow the COVID-19 protocols. Those showing symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection should not travel to the State. Domestic tourists will have to wear masks, ensure physical distancing of two metres, and use sanitisers while in the State.

Domestic tourists coming to the State for trips lasting up to seven days need not undergo quarantine. Those planning for holidaying in the State for more than seven days should come with a COVID-19 negative certificate or undergo a test immediately on reaching the State. Those domestic tourists who fail to do so will have to undergo seven days’ quarantine.

Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran said on Sunday that the decision to open up the sector has been taken to alleviate the misery faced by the stakeholders, in line with the steps taken by other States. Besides, tourism did not figure in the sectors banned in the Unlock 4 order of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and it was assessed to be what was needed for the revival of the industry.

The government has also detailed the steps to be followed at the tourist destinations to check the spread of the pandemic. Thermal scanners will have to be used to check the body temperature and details of the visitors should be recorded. The Deputy Director and Secretaries of the District Tourism Promotion Councils have been asked to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are followed at tourism destinations.

The reservation of rooms and entry in adventure tourism centres should be through online booking, the government has suggested. The Minister hoped that domestic tourists will come forward to the State without fear.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 1:52:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tourist-destinations-except-beaches-to-open-today/article32827434.ece

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