THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Aug 10: With the opening of Kerala Tourism on Monday after several months owing to Covid-19 infection, the state could set an example for the whole country in protecting tourists from the infection under the ‘bio-bubble’ model.
These tourism centres will now be accessible to tourists who have taken at least the first dose of Covid vaccine or possess a negative RT-PCR test certificate taken in the last 72 hours. This rule is applicable to hotels, resorts, homestays, houseboats and open spaces for tourists.
Bio-bubbles are sanitised, safe and secure environments where people within them who are likely to come into contact with tourists are vaccinated.
The protective ring of the bio-bubble will ensure that tourists reaching any airport in Kerala meet only vaccinated ground staff.
From the airport they can reach their destination by cabs provided by accredited tour operators whose drivers are all vaccinated.
The same rule applies to the hotels, resorts or homestays the tourists stay in during their holidays where the staff are vaccinated.
Kerala Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas said the ‘bio-bubble’ model forms part of a set of well-planned and time-bound schemes initiated by the state tourism department for an early revival of the pandemic-ravaged travel and hospitality sector by turning all tourism spots cent per cent safe zones.
“Safety of guests is non-negotiable as far as Kerala Tourism is concerned. It was with this larger perspective that we successfully carried out the vaccination campaign covering the whole population at Vythiri in Wayanad. This initiative will tell the world that Kerala is a place where you can holiday safely. They can engage in all leisure activities such as walking, stretching and basking on beaches, swimming in placid waters, trekking on forest trails, cruising on the backwaters or sauntering through villages with full confidence,” Riyas added.
V. Venu, Additional Chief Secretary, tourism department, said Kerala Tourism has outlived grim crises like devastating natural calamities such as floods and epidemics that battered its infrastructure and economy.
“The best way to come out of this pandemic induced crisis is to set the highest premium on the safety of tourists,” Venu added.
With the Kerala government setting its goal of inoculating the entire eligible population in the shortest time, the Covid-19 vaccination programme is progressing at a brisk pace throughout the state. More than 43.37 per cent of the state’s total population has been vaccinated with the first dose of vaccine and 18.08 per cent with both the vaccine doses.