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As Goa reopens after lockdown to tourists today, here’s all you need to know for your next visit to the vacation heaven of India.

The all-time-favourite holiday destination in the country, Goa is now open to non-resident visitors. After three months of no travel on the horizon, this comes as a respite to all those with itchy feet. You can reach Goa through any means comfortable to you–road, rail, or air, and stay in any of the 250+ hotels that have been granted permission to reopen.

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The announcement was made yesterday by the Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar and has brought some ray of hope for getting back to normal after self-quarantining for months. However, we can’t forget that this will be the new normal, and the experience will be slightly different. Here are a few points to take note of as Goa reopens after lockdown:

  1. All travellers entering Goa will be screened at the entry point using thermal scanners
  2. Any symptomatic traveller will be kept in isolation and tested for COVID-19

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For asymptomatic travellers, the following options have been made available–

  1. They can produce a COVID-19 negative certificate. This must be issued by an ICMR-approved lab, and not more than 48 hours before arriving in Goa
  2. Opt for a mandatory 14-day quarantine. You can choose the paid institutional quarantine facility or lodge at a residence. For the latter other residents will also be home-quarantined and the address will be stamped.
  3. The third choice is to go for a coronavirus test. The swab test costs Rs 2,000 and you will be put up at the paid quarantine facility till the results are out

Also, tourists will have to pre-book their place of stay–from the list of approved hotels–before they enter Goa. These hotels are to maintain a strict hygiene protocol and follow the government SOP at all times to ensure the safety of one and all. Apart from hotels, restaurants have reopened in the state, while bars are yet to get approval. If a laid-back, mindful holiday is what you’re after, it’s time to make plans.

We’ll update this with a list of hotels you can stay once that information is made available.

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