With the tourist season starting up, and domestic tourists arriving in Goa, the state has decided to open up the river water sports activities and boat cruises, all of which were shut ever since the beginning of lockdown in March.
The Travel and Tourist Association of Goa (TTAG) has been pushing the Government to open these activities as they are the main attraction for domestic tourists. The TTAG even submitted a comprehensive report on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the same.
Following TTAG’s report, the Government released the “Safety and Hygiene Guide” for the staff and customers. They included rules on sanitation and hygiene, thermal screening, staggered operational timings, social distancing, etc.
Booking ahead of time for water sports is mandatory, the visitors must have no medical history relating to the virus for at least 28 days. Information regarding the visitors’ age, medical history, allergies, past COVID tests are to be maintained by the boat operators in the form of self-declaration.
It’s been encouraged that the operators make bookings ahead of time and try to keep staggered timings. They are mandated to keep hand sanitizers and masks available at all times.
All equipment like life jackets, floating devices, and such are thoroughly disinfected before boarding new passengers. High touch zones like, seats, windows, screens, steering wheel, etc are to be regularly sprayed with disinfectant cleaners.
Here are the guidelines issued by the tourism department :
- Staff must wear masks and single-use gloves at all times mandatorily.
- Security personnel is to be kept to maintain social distancing at the entrance of the area 24×7, as applicable.
- Garbage bins with liner bags are to be kept wherever possible.
- Proper logs of all equipment and entry and exit of vehicles are to be maintained.
- All touchpoints are to be regularly cleaned.
- All promotional materials must clearly state the rules with respect to travel history, medical history, maximum capacity, the Do’s, and Don’ts that tourists must be aware of.
- All activities will work at 50% of maximum capacity to ensure social distancing.
- Persons above 65 years of age, pregnant women, children below 10 years of age are advised to either avoid traveling at all costs or limit them. They are also advised to take extra precautions.
The guidelines also state to follow staggered timings by multiple boats and that the start time, intermission period, and completion time of a cruise on any boat do not coincide with the start time, intermission period, or completion time of a cruise on any other vessel on the jetty.