As restaurants, bars re-open in Goa, businesses hope for sizeable tourism by Nov

As Unlock 4 begins from today, Goa government has allowed restaurants and bars to re-open in its capital city Panaji.

The resumption of bars and restaurants in the state has led the business owners to anticipate a “sizeable tourism” during New Year’s time.

President Goa Hotel & Restaurant Associations said,“It’s a welcome gesture by govt. By November or December, we hope we’ll have some sizeable tourism business in Goa.”

“Bars and restaurants can now be opened, although all SOPs and guidelines will have to be followed. Restaurants, marketplaces, everywhere else social distancing will have to be followed as per the MHA guidelines,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said earlier.

The Ministry of Home Affairs last week announced the fresh guidelines for Unlock 4 plan. Under the guidelines, lockdown will be extended in the country till 30 September. However, the lockdown will only be implemented strictly in the containment zones, it said.

“From September 1, Unlock 4 has started, earlier testing was compulsory for those willing to enter Goa. But now it will not be mandatory, if someone is found symptomatic then the person can get tested in the state. There is also no restriction on inter-state movement of people, vehicles,” Sawant added.

In a major development, metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA, the statement said.

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted in the country with a ceiling of 100 persons, from 21 September, it further stated.

Cinema hall, swimming pools, theatres and similar places to remain closed. However, open air theatres permitted to open from September 21.

India went under a complete nationwide lockdown from 25 March in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. In an attempt to bring back normalcy, the MHA has been issuing a number of guidelines in its ‘Unlock India’ mission. The Unlock process of the country had begun on June 1 with the graded reopening of commercial, social, religious and other activities in order to kickstart the economy.

Meanwhile, Goa on Monday reported 414 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total count of infections in the state to 17,418, a health department official said.

With nine people succumbing to the infection, the toll mounted to 192, he said.

With inputs from agencies

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