Cracking the whip on tourists who aren't adhering to the issued COVID protocol of wearing a face mask and argue against civic authorities, the mayor of Panjim stated on Monday, that police will henceforth accompany officials enforcing the norm. The errant tourists will be photographed and fined. The mayor added that the decision was taken after reports, that certain tourists became abusive towards the Panaji Municipal Corporation officials, especially those visiting the iconic Immaculate Conception Church in the state capital.
Mask but not least
The mayor was quoted saying, "In view of these unnecessary tussles, police will now accompany our municipality officials during drives to enforce the use of face masks in public. Photos of tourists who do not follow the rule will also be taken before they are directed to pay fines."
"We do not want to harass people, but some tourists create a ruckus during our enforcement drives. This is a pan-India SOP. People should visit Goa, but they should not take the state's people for granted. The objective of wearing masks is to keep everyone safe from coronavirus," he further added.
Goa has been observing a steady trickle of tourists, ever since the state borders were reopened, in an effort to bolster the dormant sectors of tourism and hospitality which have been severely affected by the pandemic. However, it has resulted in large crowds at popular beaches, sites of tourist interest as well as near casino hubs in the state. The state Chief Minister has repeatedly urged everyone to maintain social distance norms, wear face masks and regularly use sanitizers to clean hands. Last week, the Goa government doubled the fine for not wearing masks to ₹200, in order to reimpose the severity of the situation.