THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The tourist destinations in the Gods Own Country will start welcoming tourists under strict COVID-19 norms from Monday, bringing the much-needed relief to the cash strapped economy of the state.
The hill, adventure, backwater and Ayurveda tourist destinations will be reopened for the domestic tourists from Monday, while the beach destinations will remain closed and will be opened on November 1 as it is difficult to place restrictions for the entry of tourists on beaches.
"The state has decided to reopen its tourist destinations in a phased manner in the wake of the crisis being faced by various stakeholders dependent on tourism, said Tourism Minister Kadkampally Surendran. The unlock-4 guidelines of the Center has allowed the tourism sector to be reopened after taking precautions. Taking note of this, the state has decided to reopen the tourism sector and this would be a big relief for the ailing sector," he said.
The state has already relaxed the provisions for other state people to visit Kerala saying that they need not undergo quarantine if the trips are up to seven days. Similarly, the domestic tourists need not undergo quarantine for trips up to seven days. For those who wish to spend more than seven days need to carry a COVID-negative certificate or undergo a test in Kerala at their expense. Otherwise, they will have to undergo seven-day quarantine in the state.
Further, all the domestic tourists will have to register on covid19jagratha.kerala.nic.in and will have to follow the protocols. Domestic tourists will have to wear masks, apart from ensuring physical distancing of two metres and using sanitisers during their visit. Those showing any symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection should not travel to the state.
The state government has also made public the guidelines to be followed in the state while touring the state. The Deputy Director and Secretaries of the District Tourism Promotion Councils were told to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are followed in tourism destinations.
In all the destinations, the body temperature of tourists will be recorded. The government also suggested to take online booking for the reservation of rooms and entry in adventure tourism centres.