PANJIM: Justifying the State government’s decision not to go for a lockdown or impose restrictions on visitors entering Goa, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar appealed to the tourists to follow all COVID safety precautions while in Goa.
“Tourists come here to enjoy. Let them. Goa is dependent on tourism. The tourists should follow all COVID guidelines for their safety and the safety of others,” Agjaonkar said, speaking to media persons.
He also said that if tourism in Goa had to stop, many people in the State would be on the streets hungry as they won’t have the means to sustain their livelihoods or feed their families given how they would lose their source of income.
He added that a large section of the population earns their living by being employed in the tourism industry and that stakeholders in the industry too will suffer if there was a lockdown, such as the shack owners, taxi owners, small time businessmen as well those running and working at starred resorts.
Asked to comment about what action regarding the videos going viral of parties being held at private commercial establishments that are violating the rules, the Minister said that comes under the domain of the Home Department. “It is for the Home Department to control, not me. People should wear masks and keep social distance,” he added.
He refused to respond to queries about MLAs violating the COVID safety guidelines of social distancing at birthday parties or political rallies but said everyone should follow the guidelines. “Yesterday the Chief Minister announced the new rules regarding the size of the crowd that is allowed at various places, like 200 in public places and 100 in indoor areas. These rules are for all,” he added.