Beaches, parks and museums in Kerala will be opened for tourists from Sunday, marking the resumption of tourism activities after they have remained shut for eight months.
The move, as part of reviving the tourism sector following the outbreak of the pandemic, comes close on the heels of the opening of tourist destinations and services across the State on October 10. Adhering to standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure the safety of visitors, houseboats, personalised boating, adventure tourism spots and hill stations had been thrown open.
“Tourism Department officials are making extra efforts to ensure that the guidelines are followed to the last detail,” Tourism Director P. Bala Kiran said on Saturday.
Boards featuring dos and don’ts are being put up, and walkways, handrails and shelters will be sprayed with sanitisers at regular intervals. Tourism police will be posted, if necessary, to help Kudumbashree volunteers and lifeguards. A register will be kept at the entry for entering details of visitors.
For parks and museums, online ticketing/SMS booking will be explored to the extent possible at gated entries. Vehicles will be allowed at parking areas for up to a maximum of one hour.
Strict instructions have been issued to street vendors to follow COVID-19 protocol. Cleaning and fumigation of toilets and restrooms will be taken up at regular intervals.
“It is significant that we are reopening our beaches, including destinations such as Kovalam,” Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said. “The response in destinations that resumed operations from October 10 has been encouraging, with footfalls gradually increasing,” Tourism Secretary Rani George said.
As per the SOP issued by the government, visitors will have to wear mask, use soap and sanitizer and follow physical distancing at destinations.
Tourists coming for visits of less than seven days are exempted from quarantine but should register on the COVID-19 Jagratha portal.