AHEAD OF new year’s eve celebrations in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Wednesday said that organisers of parties in restaurants and other public functions will have to ensure that their guests are either fully vaccinated or have a negative test report for Covid-19.
“A lot of functions have been planned in Goa ahead of December 31. Wherever there are public functions, a Covid negative certificate or a full vaccination certificate will be required. This will be implemented through our Collectors and the home department,” Sawant said.
The government has also ordered that restaurants, pubs, bars must allow entry to only those guests who are fully vaccinated or have a negative test report in addition to adhering to Covid-19 protocols.
On Wednesday evening, state revenue secretary Sanjay Kumar issued an order restricting the operation of casinos, cinema halls, auditoria, community halls, river cruises, water parks and entertainment parks to 50 percent of their capacity, as the test positivity rate climbed above 5 per cent. Violation of the order would attract a penalty under sections of the IPC and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The order stated that “the number of Covid-19 cases being reported in Goa is increasing, and the situation might further aggravate if public gatherings and active interaction is permitted unrestricted.”
The move comes at a time that the tourist season is at its peak and two days after the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in Goa.
Health minister Vishwajit Rane said that in view of the rising Covid-19 cases, there had been a significant jump from 112 new cases on Tuesday to 170 on Wednesday that was similar to what had taken place during April-May 2021 when the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic had gripped the state. “I have suggested to Director, DHS (Directorate of Health Services) and Dean GMC (Goa Medical College) to convene an emergency meeting with expert doctors to suggest measures,” Rane tweeted.
“Goa being a tourist destination, it is very important for us to protect the citizens as well as the tourists. The govt. is driven by expert advice of the doctors. We are waiting for them to deliberate & make concrete suggestions. This will help us to be in a better position to take appropriate action in light of the increasing number of cases,” Rane said in a tweet.
The order issued by the revenue secretary on Wednesday stated that places of public amusement like spas, massage parlors, restaurants, pubs, bars, halls, auditoria, gyms, marriage venues, cinema halls and entertainment parks will also have to follow Covid-19 safety protocols and allow entry only to asymptomatic guests and staff who are either fully vaccinated for more than 15 days or possess a covid-19 negative test report not more than a day old.
“Owner/manager/ licensee/organizer of such premises/functions shall be responsible for the enforcement of above restrictions, including making necessary arrangements for verification,” the order stated.