The state, however, decided not to allow electronic dance music (EDM) festivals and discos. CM Pramod Sawant told TOI that the state-level curfew will be extended, with these relaxations.
Tourism-related activities have been shut down in Goa since the state was hit by a brutal second wave of Covid-19.
Sawant chaired a meeting of the Covid working group and discussed the recommendations of the expert committee, which suggested opening activities related to tourism and the economy.
“The state government will allow economic and tourism activities, including the reopening of casinos, spas, massage parlors and river cruises at 50% capacity from Monday, with standard operating procedures (SOPs) strict, âsaid the chief minister.
Sawant said those entering casinos should be fully vaccinated or have an RT-PCR negative certificate.
TOI reported on Saturday that the government wrote to the Union’s Home Affairs and External Affairs ministries to grant them special permission to allow charter flights in the tourist state. âGoa is ready to start tourism and is open to welcoming tourists. I think ours is the first state to welcome tourists during the pandemic, âSawant said.
Regarding the opening of schools, the chief minister said that the working group asked the expert committee to make a decision and send it to the working group.
Sawant said during the meeting the positivity rate over the past three to four weeks had been compared and remained below 2%.
Working group committee member Dr Shekhar Salkar said a decision will be made on October 15 whether or not to allow EDM festivals in the state.
Salkar said the expert committee will hold a meeting on September 24 or 25 to decide whether the schools will open. âMost likely, schools could reopen on October 4 for grades IX, X, XI and XII,â Salkar said.
Salkar said the expert panel recommended that the state government vaccinate all school staff. About 98% of school staff are already vaccinated.
Salkar also said the panel of experts would review the situation from time to time and make suggestions to the government. Salkar said that “scientifically the third wave will come, but the virus will have to search for Goans to infect because 98% are vaccinated.” âVaccinated people contract Covid, but the chances of their death are extremely low,â Salkar said.