Drone footage showed large crowds gathered at Goa’s Calangute beach in India on Thursday (December 30) to see in the New Year, even as the government imposed tougher restrictions to curb the latest variant of the coronavirus.
India’s suspension of international commercial flights due to the pandemic has boosted domestic tourism, with hotels and restaurants in popular destinations such as Goa enjoying roaring trade.
However, a spike in COVID-19 infections prompted India to tighten restrictions on Thursday, including night curfews in all major cities.
In Goa, authorities issued directives to hotels, restaurants and casinos to admit only guests with valid vaccination certificates or proof of a negative test result.
The palm-fringed beach at Calangute, in northern Goa, was nonetheless packed with tourists, who zoomed around on jetskis, took selfies, and enjoyed meals at beachside restaurants.
India reported 13,154 new COVID-19 cases and 268 deaths in the last 24 hours, the federal Health Ministry said, with urban centres reporting a big jump in cases.
(Production : Sunil Kataria, Bhushan Kumar, Hedy Beloucif)