Goa Seeks COVID-19 Vaccination Permission for Tourism Workers

Goa’s tourism sector may be a huge source of revenue for the state and also employs nearly 35% of the state’s population. Source: Hindustan Times

The Goa government has asked for special permission from the Centre to vaccinate all workers within the state’s tourism sector, whether they are above 45 years old, citing the importance of the sector.

Chief Minister's Statement:

“Our attempt is that all those working in the tourism line — all those above 45 should get vaccinated — but we have written a letter seeking permission that those working in the tourism industry even if they are below 45 should be vaccinated,” Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.

Sawant added, “For now, we don’t have permission, but if we get the permission, then we are ready to vaccinate all those working in the tourism industry.”

Importance of Tourism in Goa

The tourism sector is an important source of income for the state and also employs nearly 35% of the state’s, according to official estimates. A sum of 25-lakh tourists has visited Goa since they eased travel restrictions after lifting the lockdown. Before the pandemic, the state recorded near eight million domestic tourists and over nine hundred thousand foreign tourists.

Various sectors in the state, including manufacturing and services, have been seeking the expansion of the vaccination drive to cover those who come in contact with customers while working, said the CM.

Sawant further said that the police have been told to crack down on people not wearing masks in crowded places like markets, bus stands, and other public places, including beaches.

“Enforcement will be done in a big way. It’s not that Covid is coming from the tourists only. Covid is spreading internally in the state as well. Our people should also not mix up with tourists,” Sawant said.

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