These are the new rules for Goa

By Amogh Sahasrabhojanee

If you were planning to catch a quick break in Goa to escape the testing requirements in other states, you might have to put your plans on hold. The Goa government has made negative RT-PCR certificates mandatory for anyone entering Goa from 10 May. The rule comes after a hearing of three public interest litigations on pandemic management in the state, at the High Court of Bombay at Goa.

Following the hearing, Goa has now announced a strict curfew till 23 May to contain the spread of the virus. Along with this, any visitors entering the state will either need a negative RT-PCR test taken a maximum of 72 hours prior to travel or a full certificate of vaccination.

The petitions that led to this new rule demanded improved management of the current crisis in the state with increased testing and adequate provision of hospital beds, ventilators, ambulance services and other essentials for COVID-19 treatment. They also demand special care for differently-abled, aged and economically weak sections of society through improved vaccination plans and home care centres.

So far, Goa has been one of the few states in the country that has allowed tourists in without any testing for COVID-19. On 3 May, the state went into a four-day lockdown, keeping only essential services open. Tourists were allowed to enter the state but would have to stay in their hotels during the lockdown period. The lockdown was further extended up to 10 May, following which it stands extended till 23 May. The state has been experiencing an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases, with a ten-fold rise since April. On Sunday, Goa reported 2,633 new cases, with a single-day death toll of 67.