Kerala opens beaches and parks for tourists, safety parameters enforced

Kerala is opening its beaches, parks and museums for domestic tourists from November 1, marking resumption of tourism activities in full swing ahead of the annual tourism season, after remaining shut for eight months following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first phase, tourist destinations and services across the state were reopened on October 10, by strictly adhering to a comprehensive set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the safety of visitors.
The services that started  receiving guests on October 10 included house boats on backwaters and personalized boating and adventure tourism spots, which  have controlled access and it is easy to implement the SMS (Social distancing, Mask and Soap Sanitizer) norms. Hill stations were also thrown open, signaling the revival of the revenue-generating industry.
“Beaches of Kerala have always attracted visitors from all corners of the world on account of their unsurpassed beauty, warmth of waters and cleanliness. It is significant that we are re-opening our beaches, including globally famed sea-side destinations like Kovalam, when the annual tourist season is round the corner” State Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran said.
“The response in destinations and services that resumed operations early this month has been encouraging, with the footfall gradually increasing. The stake-holders have extended their total co-operation to see that all safety parameters are followed. The visitors are also complying with the guidelines issued by the State Government,” said Tourism Secretary Smt Rani George IAS.
“As we re-open our beaches, Tourism Department officials on the ground are making extra efforts to ensure that the specific guidelines are followed to the last detail,” said Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran IAS.
As part of safety parameters for beaches, which do not have controlled access, directions have been issued to ensure that officials are deployed at the entry points, walkways and open areas, equipped with thermal check, sanitizers and hand-wash facilities. Boards prominently featuring “Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ are being put up and walkways, hand-rails and shelters will be sprayed with sanitisers at regular intervals. 
Tourism police personnel will be posted, if necessary, to help Kudumbashree volunteers and Life Guards. A register will be kept at the entry for recording details of visitors.
For parks and museums, online ticket /SMS booking will be explored to the extent possible at the gated entries.  Vehicles will be allowed to be kept at the parking areas to maximum one hour. A register will be kept at all entry points for entering visitor’s name, native place, contact number and time and date of the visit. 
Strict instructions have been issued for street vendors to follow COVID-19 protocols. Cleaning and fumigation of toilets and restrooms will be taken up at regular intervals. 
As per the SOP issued by the Government earlier, the visitors to the state will have to follow Break the Chain norms including wearing of masks, use of soap and sanitizer and follow social distancing.
Tourists coming for visits of less than seven days are exempted from quarantine but they should register in COVID Jagratha portal. If visitors plan to extend their stay for more than seven days, they have to undergo test at their cost on the 7th day at ICMR/ state government approved laboratories. The visitors are advised to avoid travel if they are symptomatic.
Hospitality facilities, tour operators, tourism transport operators and other services such as hotels, resorts, house boats, ayurveda centres, homestays, service villas and adventure activity centres were instructed to strictly go by the SOPs.

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