As the world is facing an unprecedented global health emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector is among the most affected sectors. Thus, it has become important for the Government to consider the health and safety of tourists. The government is taking necessary measures to ensure utmost safety and control the spread of coronavirus.
The Department of Tourism, Karnataka has drafted a comprehensive guide with safety protocols that need to be implemented to ensure safe travel. These measures will create a safe environment for tourists to travel across the state. Additionally, with the execution of these protocols, the government is aiming towards the prevention of new cases and reducing the mass impact of the pandemic. The state is ready to rebuild trust and inspire confidence in the tourists to revive the tourism industry amidst the unrivalled global health and economic pandemic.
With districts opening up, it is the duty of both the government and the citizens to take appropriate measures to prevent the pandemic. After all, we can fight this situation together.
Clean your hands often
Cover your mouth & nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/ handkerchief/flexed elbow & dispose off used tissues properly
Limit social gatherings & time spent in crowded places
Clean & disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Protocols For Tourist Destinations
- Tourists should strictly observe social distancing norms with a physical distance of 2 meters (6 feet) per person. Family groups can stay together as long as they ensure that they are at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from any other individuals or family groups.
- Tourists should ensure that they wear a protective face mask while within the premises of any tourism destination
- Tourists should frequently wash hands or use hand sanitizers. While facility management shall provide for soaps / sanitizer at common places, tourists should be prepared and carry their own sanitizer and wet wipes.
- Tourists should sanitize their hands after any contact with public surfaces including ticketing counters or check-in counters. Sanitizing stations shall be set up for their convenience at regular intervals
- Tourists should avail online / digital ticketing facilities where available and book their tickets well in advance. This will ensure that service providers have information to make adequate arrangements
- All tourists shall have their temperature checked at the entry points using non-contact devices and shall be screened for symptoms such as cold, cough etc. Service providers shall ensure that privacy is maintained during screening
- Only asymptomatic tourists shall be allowed.
- All tourists shall have to provide basic personal information when visiting the destination. This shall include name, contact details and government-issued identification. Tourists shall be required to give their consent for sharing details with administrative or health authorities, if required for contract tracing related activity
Protocols At Hotels, Resorts, Properties
- Only asymptomatic tourists shall be allowed.
- Tourists may be required to fill out a self-declaration form in the format provided in Annexure. This shall be mandatory for accommodation units.
- Tourists who have checked-in at the accommodation unit should not allow guests into their rooms.
- Staff of accommodation units shall not enter the guest’s room unless absolutely necessary. The guests should ensure they follow social distancing guidelines with any staff that may have to enter their rooms
- Guests to be briefed by the front desk associate about the safety measures
- All Luggage will be disinfected
- With minimum contact with guest, rooms are to be kept ready to avoid crowding
- Guests must provide details like travel history, medical condition etc, along with ID & self declaration form
- Minimal interaction with guest at reception
- Hand sanitizers to be kept at the reception. Guests to sanitize hands before & after filling relevant forms
- Maintain proper records of any symptom such as cough/cold/fever
Do’s & Don'ts For Guests
- Do not step out of the room unnecessarily. Wear a face mask whenever outside the room.
- Clothes should NOT BE washed inside the room
- No visitors should be allowed in the rooms.
- Doors should be kept closed and any contact with the doorknobs should be avoided by staf
- Always keep a safe physical distance of at least 2 m (6 feet) while you are at the property
- Guests are recommended to carry their own sanitizer & wet wipes for personal use. Wash your hands frequently with the soaps/sanitizers
- Put all bio-degradable disposable plates/cups/bottles after use in the garbage bag.
Guidelines for travel (air/train/inter-state bus travel)
- All KSRTC buses across the State and BMTC buses and metro rail in Bengaluru to run at 50% capacity
- E-Pass not mandatory for inter state travel
- During boarding and travel, all passengers shall use face covers/masks. They will also follow hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and maintain environmental hygiene.
- Airports/railway stations/bus terminals should be regularly sanitized/disinfected and availability of soaps and sanitizers shall be ensured.
- All passengers shall be advised to download Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices.
Guidelines for Domestic Passengers
- Travellers from other states are allowed to travel in Karnataka
- No quarantine of asymptomatic passengers on arrival. However, they shall self monitor their health for 14 days from the date of their arrival for any symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough, cold, throat pain, difficulty in breathing etc.
- Having symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 they shall immediately self-isolate immediately and seek medical consultation or call Apthamitra helpline 14410
Guidelines for International Returnees
- All travellers shall submit a self-declaration form on the online portal https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/apho-registration at least 72 hours before the scheduled date of travel.
- They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo facility quarantine or home quarantine or self monitoring of their health for 14 days, or as warranted.
- All international passengers arriving in Karnataka will have to undergo mandatory 14 days of home quarantine.
- However, travellers may seek exemption from home quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the online portal (para 1.1) for consideration. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. The test report could also be produced upon arrival at the point of entry airport in Karnataka.
- International passengers arriving without an RT-PCR negative certificate and wishing to seek exemption from home quarantine may also avail the facility available at the airports to undergo RT-PCR testing (where such provisions exist)
- International passengers arriving without an RT-PCR negative certificate and not opting for RT PCR test at airport (if facility is available) /arriving at an airport where testing facility is not available will have to undergo mandatory 14 days of home quarantine.
- Only for compelling reasons/ cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below and not having a negative RT-PCR report shall be permitted to self-monitor their health for 14 days from date of arrival in India. However, if they develop any COVID- 19 like symptoms, they shall immediately seek medical consultation
- Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except required for essential and health purposes.
- Guests who are at higher risk, i.e., those who are older, pregnant or those who have underlying medical conditions are advised to take extra precautions
- Tourists should avoid handling cash as much as possible. All payments should be done through digital modes
- Tourists should be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zone
- Spitting is strictly prohibited.
- All tourists shall be briefed on the dos and don’ts to be mandatorily followed during their time at the tourism facility
- While traveling all tourist should wear a face mask and carry their own sanitizer and wet wipes for personal use
- Tourists should reach out to the Government of Karnataka “Apthamitra” helpline number at 14410 if any assistance is required. Tourists are also encouraged to use the Government of Karnataka’s Apthamitra Mobile App, if any assistance is required.
India Eases Travel Restrictions for International Tourists
Finally, after a halt of more than one year, India is gearing up to welcome international tourists. Due to the pandemic outbreak, inbound travel was restricted since March of last year. However, now the government of India has announced its decision to allow tourists, starting from October 15, 2021. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, this is only for the tourists arriving via charter flights. The visitors coming through regular flights will have to wait till November 15.
Though India is easing the restrictions on international travel, it will be done in accordance with all COVID-19 safety protocols as issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. All the foreign tourists, carriers, carrying them to the country, and other people involved need to follow the guidelines.
The testing, vaccination, and quarantine rules for foreign visitors are yet to be notified.. Tourists from the UK will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine. Whereas, those coming from Europe, Brazil, South Africa, will have to undergo a mandatory 7-day quarantine.
Opening the gates for international tourists will boost the tourism sector, which is among the most severely affected sectors in the past year. The holiday season is just round the corner, so this decision could help in getting the tourism sector back on track