The reopening of Kozhikode’s major beaches continues to be a challenge for the District Tourism Promotion Council as COVID-19 screening measures at the tourist destinations are yet to be improved.
The Kappad beach, which was thrown open to visitors after it won the prestigious Blue Flag certification, has been closed again after 18 cleaning labourers in the area who showed COVID-19 symptoms were quarantined. Though the beach is likely to be reopened after a week, the Health Department authorities do not support the move.
Tourism Department officials said the Kappad beach and the Sarovaram Biopark were the two main destinations that generated good returns for the DTPC. The closure of the Kappad beach, which attracted national and international tourists, was definitely a setback in terms of revenue during the peak season, they added.
Though there were calls to reopen the Kozhikode South beach and Bhatt Road beach with better screening arrangements, the authorities did not respond positively to them. The main challenge, according to the authorities, is the uncontrolled flow of visitors with no respect for safety measures. The police officers posted on duty had a tough time dealing with protocol violations.
An official attached to the DTPC said the proximity of various containment zones to the beaches was another major hurdle. “We make the decisions now on the basis of the Health Department advisory. Though the Kappad beach may be reopened by complying with improved safety arrangements, the same approach cannot be adopted in the case of other beaches with vast shoreline and multiple entrances,” said the official.