The Government of Goa has updated its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for handling inbound travellers. While earlier it declared that COVID-19 tests will be mandatory for every incoming traveller, the new SOPs look more flexible. By Kumar Shree
As opposed to earlier orders of mandatorily going through COVID-19 tests, travellers coming to Goa, now, have three options to choose from. Those coming in for longer duration can opt for a 14-day home quarantine or paid quarantine. While those making a short visit can go for a COVID-19 test. The updated SOPs have come in the wake of India entering its first phase of Unlock, which has increased the number of travellers moving in and out of the state, thus making it impossible to continue testing all travellers.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, on Monday, talked about how it was getting difficult to test everyone given the increased number of travellers. As reported by Hindustan Times, he said, “Almost 2,500 test results are pending. We are conducting 1,500 to 2,000 tests per day which will continue, but we have to change the standard operating procedure for arrivals.”
Talking about monitoring the passengers’ movements, once in the state, and the updated SOPs, he further said, “Persons entering the state can opt for 14-days home quarantine and their movements will be monitored through the local representatives so that they do not mingle during the period. People can also opt for a paid quarantine if they do not wish to go home, or the third option for those coming to the state only for a few days, and do not wish to quarantine, is to take a swab test by paying INR 2,000.”
Under the updated SOPs, all travellers must walk through thermal scanners placed at airports, railway stations, and checkpoints on roads. Those found symptomatic under scanners must undergo testing. These updated SOPs come into effect starting today, June 10.