Post Ganesh Update
Ganesh is over and generally from where we stand it was very well observed with very little roaming. It was sad to not hear the cries of "Come for Ganesh" but were quite relieved that we didn't as we were not faced with a dilemma. Those that felt comfortable roamed a little but there were no expectations and so in Nagoa we felt safe.
That is possibly not the case across the board. We did witness a hoard of people following the transportation truck to immerse the idols in Arpora on one occasion but even so it was not the usual large crowd.
However in general the news is still grim
PANJIM: With 547 new cases, Goa saw its second-highest single-day spike of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with three deaths even as the Chief Minister said that the non-adhering to social distancing norms during Ganesh Chaturthi was the reason for the spike.
Then there is the news that over 500 have tested positive for the 2nd day in a row. PANAJI: For the second consecutive day this week, the state showed high cases.
People are again being encouraged to continue strict social distancing, not share cars to work and only leave the house for necessity and for 15 minutes at a time in well ventilated areas.
There was an interesting article in the press this week showing the feelings of the common man here in Goa about 'tourists' descending on the state to curb their boredom.
Now that the Goa government has opened up state borders, policing tourists who are reveling in their newfound freedom will be an added, difficult task that takes away from the state’s resources. The risk crowds of tourists pose is not just to the locals, but also to each other. This risk, of course, needs to be weighed against the economic cost people in Goa will incur, now that those immersed in the tourism industry have a chance to restart their livelihoods. But this is a messy decision, both for tourists and for locals who decide to go to work and expose themselves to people from far away. Just because the government has given the okay doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in everybody’s best interest to pack our bags and move to Goa.
So just because life in lockdown has been boring and restrictive, this article shows that not everyone in Goa will greet with open arms if you decide to travel here, they are still afraid and I suspect many would prefer to see the state remain closed. Lets face it, while we are all still trying to adhere to strict social distancing rules and numbers allowed for certain situations, who wants to see tourists without masks riding up and down the streets screaming Goaaaaaaaa 'as they do' and having parties in the beach shacks. No thanks right now.
Talking about shacks.
They are trying to decide whether to open the shacks. Some people are still hoping that there will be a tourist season here and are still thinking of opening the shacks.
Shacks are permitted to commence operations post monsoon.........
However with it being 2-3 lakhs to construct a shack and the fact that the shack builders are mainly migrant workers will this be feasible? If they are constructed, who is going to use them? A tough decision for the small shack owners that barely scrape a profit during the normal tourist season, 2020 will be one for the big player only probably who can afford to lose that money should the season not happen.
On a lighter note, the rumoured new tourist attraction looks like it is almost complete.
Calangute: The museum at the erstwhile central jail complex at Fort Aguada in Sinquerim will be opened around Feb 2021 according to Michael Lobo.
So we are just about to come into UNLOCK 4........will anything change. Quite frankly, no not a lot.
Here is a summary of the new rules, most seem to start from Sept 21st or around that date. Schools are not reopening to coincide with Europe, they will remain closed apart from older students being able to make appointments with teachers for clarifications.
Most important among these are all kinds of public gatherings up to 100 persons and permitting 50 per cent teachers in educational institutions, but from 21 September.
Also, local governments are not allowed to impose fresh lockdowns, outside existing containment zones, without consulting the central government.
What would be allowed with a ceiling of 100 persons from 21 September are:
Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations.
Marriage-related gatherings as well as funeral/last rites.
Cinema hall, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and similar places would continue to remain closed.
Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutes would continue remain closed up to 30 September. What would be permitted from 21 September are:
50% teaching and non-teaching staff for online teaching outside containment zones,
Students of classes from IX to XII, but on voluntary basis, and
Skill or entrepreneurship training at it is etc.
Also, higher education institutes would permit research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory works, but only after consulting the MHA.
The fresh guidelines have also once again made special mention of no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods without separate permission, approval or e-permits.
For the full circular of updates please see here
I therefore feel that those awaiting a change in the flight situation will be bitterly disappointed as there is no further unlock in travel restrictions. Now that doesnt mean to say people are stuck here in Goa still, those that have the wish to and ability to pay for an extra flight can go through the process and book a flight out as long as the necessary permits are obtained and the route is an allowed one. However as visa's are still suspended that is at the moment a one way ticket. Those that are still hoping to use their original exit flight are I believe still being knocked back until restrictions are lifted. That is my personal understanding, so guys hoping that their September flight date issued by the airline would take them home may again not get there. At the moment there seems to be no mention of any easing of these restrictions and as some repatriation flights for some countries are bookable until October I suspect that there will not be many discussions on this until then.
My goodness I have gone all this time and not mentioned the weather. Well it looked like we were going to get a rest but it seems like heavier rain than expected is forecast for September also. I won't put the wellies away just yet then.
Thanks to http://www.goanvoice.org.uk for some interesting stories.