Curbs again on visitors at Kozhikode, Beypore beaches

Fear of virus spread due to large turnout of visitors

The Kozhikode district administration on Friday reinstated curbs on visitors at Kozhikode and Beypore beaches after Tourism and Health authorities pointed to safety threats. Until further notice, no public entry will be allowed at the spots.

The difficulty faced by the authorities in handling crowds on the first day of lifting the ban was also instrumental in reinstating restrictions. According to officials, there was a huge turnout on Thursday when the two beaches were thrown open to visitors on an experimental basis in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol. Many were found violating the safety protocol, and the police were finding it hard to manage crowds, they said.

In an official communication, District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao on Friday said the decision to reinstate regulations was taken on the basis of reports submitted by the District Tourism Promotion Council and the Beypore sectoral magistrate. Their reports had indicated the possibility of virus spread if visitors went to the spots in large numbers, he said.

Tourism officials said they lacked sufficient human resources or screening facilities to control crowds on beaches. Moreover, multiple open entrances and exits at the destinations made it further difficult to find a feasible solution to the problem, they added.

DTPC Secretary Beena Madusoodanan said even the support of volunteers could not be mobilised to control crowds. “Nobody was willing to offer such services. It is very difficult to oversee such a vast area in the absence of public support and cooperation,” she added.

A major violation noticed by the Tourism Department on Thursday was the entry of visitors to the two beaches with children below the age of 10. There were also aged persons who were walking around unmindful of safety risks. Policemen and home guards had a hard time controlling crowds in the absence of a supportive mechanism.

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