Panaji: Tourists may only be able to visit Goa now if they have been inoculated with both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as the state plans to ‘unlock’ restrictions for outsiders. Goa will make it mandatory for tourists to be fully vaccinated with both doses and a COVID negative RT-PCR report, said state Ports Minister Michael Lobo on Thursday.Also Read - Goa Aims to Complete First Dose of COVID Vaccination for All by July 30, Tourism to Restart Soon

“We have to wait till July and let the number of cases go down to zero. We will reopen Goa for tourists with proper screening. Both doses of vaccines and a negative RT-PCR report will be made mandatory for tourists for the first three months after reopening of tourism in the state,” Lobo told news agency ANI. Also Read - Goa Will Not Open For Tourists Until Everyone in State Has Received First Jab of COVID Vaccine

Lobo further emphasized that it is important to wait and watch the COVID-19 situation for at least two months. “The cases are coming down but we will wait for a month to start the business. For the first two months, we need to keep a close watch,” he said. Also Read - International Travel All Set to Resume For Vaccinated Tourists, Singapore And Malaysia Still Hesitant

According to the state minister, the influx of tourists around New Year and Christmas will not be affected by this decision. “In October, November and December the protocols will change and so it will not affect the tourists coming in the state for New Year or Christmas,” Lobo said.

“It is also important to screen people coming by air and train,” he added.

Since the onset of the pandemic last year, 3,022 people have succumbed to the virus, as per the data issued by the state.

Stressing that any risks cannot be taken with respect to the pandemic, he said, “We cannot take a chance. Many have succumbed to the virus and several families have been affected. It is the duty of the government to oversee the situation.”

On Thursday, Goa registered 229 new COVID-19 cases, 258 recoveries and 9 deaths. As per the media bulletin issued by the state, there are 2,727 active cases.

(With ANI inputs)