Panaji: The Goa government should consider reopening casinos in the state next month only after assessing the Covid situation in the country, state Ports Minister Michael Lobo said on Friday.
“Casinos right now have not started. Government will consider starting casinos by next month, after looking at the (Covid) situation in the country. If the Covid situation in the country improves, only then the casinos will start and we will get tourists in the state of Goa,” Lobo said.
Speaking to reporters Lobo also said that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs should provide relaxation to the aviation tourism industry by allowing flights on safe air bubble routes to allow facilitation of charter tourist flights from designated destinations to Goa.
“We hope that the tourism business improves, once Covid-19 comes down. We are also hoping that the international charter flights open in the state of Goa. Flights from Europe, Russia and some other European countries come here,” Lobo told reporters.
“Since there is a ban on tourists coming to India, I feel that the MHA should give relaxation for these bubble flights, specially charter flights coming from one country to the other.
“Tourists should be double vaccinated and they should produce RT-PCR negative test reports. They can do the antigen tests and enter the state. This is what we are expecting the Central government to do,” Lobo also said.
While domestic tourism is slowly reviving in the coastal state, international tourism in the beach state has hit rock bottom due to the restrictions on international air travel. Before the advent of the pandemic, nearly eight million tourists visited the state every year.