Goa orders closure of educational bodies, pubs, casinos till March 31

Panaji: The Goa government has directed the closure of schools, colleges pubs, movie halls, public swimming pools, spas, boat-cruises and casinos till March 31, in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Saturday. The closure will come into effect from midnight on Sunday.

Malls, restaurants and hotels will, however, remain open, Sawant said, adding that the directions for closure were only meant for places where people gather in closed premises. The Chief Minister also urged tourists to not visit Goa as a precautionary measure.

After a meeting of the government’s high-powered committee, headed by the Chief Minister and attended by Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, Chief Secretary Parimal Rai and other top officials, Sawant said the state government was also in the process of purchasing more thermal scanners, which will be installed at the Dabolim International Airport, local ports and railway stations.

“Schools, colleges pubs, movie halls, public swimming pools, spas, boat cruises and casinos will remain compulsorily closed from midnight on Sunday to March 31. Restaurants, hotels and malls will remain open,” Sawant said.

The Chief Minister also said that an advisory to the effect will be issued later on Saturday.

“We are also advising people not to travel unnecessarily and not conduct meetings with large gathering. Hotels with weddings venues have also been urged to make sure that mass gatherings are avoided,” Sawant said, adding a review of the situation would be taken on March 31.

Sawant, however, overruled his Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and allowed organisers of the ongoing Shigmo religious festival to take a decision on whether to conduct public events related to the celebrations or not.

“Local organising committees can take their own decisions. Many committees have said that only locals visit the festival (therefore it should be allowed). It is up to them,” Sawant said.

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