Covid: Kerala rolls out bio-bubble system for tourists

Kerala rolls out bio-bubble system for vacationers to revive Covid-hit tourism sector

The protective ring of the Bio-bubble will see that tourists landing in any airport in Kerala meet only vaccinated ground staff

Representative Image. Credit: IStock Photo

In a bid to ensure a sustainable revival of the Covid-19-ravaged tourism industry, Kerala has introduced a bio-bubble model ensuring a protective layer from coronavirus to the tourists in the state.

Ensuring Covid-free staff to handle tourists right from entry to the state till the destination is the highlight of the bio-bubble model. Already targeted vaccination drive at popular tourist destinations were on and Vythiri tourist spot at Wayanad achieved the status of a first fully vaccinated location. All hotel staffs and accredited cab operators have been administered the vaccine shot.

Kerala Tourism director V R Krishna Teja told DH that the state tourism sector has already started getting a good response. As many as 200 bookings received for houseboats for the weekend is an indicator.

The state's bio-bubble model aims at a sustainable revival of the tourism sector considering the fact that Covid will remain for more time. The bio-bubble model would ensure that the state's tourist destinations will remain protected from Covid even if the virus situation continues. Hence the tourism sector could be protected from further shutdown due to the pandemic. It would be ensured that there was no overcrowding at any tourist destination in the state, he said.

Also read: Kerala reported more than half of India's Covid-19 cases over past seven days

The tourism sector was reopened after the lockdown on Monday with entry being restricted to those who have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine or those with a  RT-PCR test negative certificate, not older than 72 hours. 

A tourist arriving in the state could now get assistance from vaccinated staff at airports, get cabs operated by vaccinated drivers or those with Covid negative certificate and stay at hotels with staff protected from Covid, said Teja.

Kerala tourism minister Mohamed Riyad said in a statement that the state tourism's bio bubble model should be a model to other states. Tourists arriving in the state could be free from any anxiety over Covid-19 and engage in leisure activities.

Kerala tourism industry was estimated to have suffered a revenue loss of over Rs. 30,000 crore owing to the pandemic. The livelihood of thousands of people, directly and indirectly, depending on the sector was also hit. The state government had also announced support schemes for the industry.