Considering the demands of the private industry associations like Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry (CKTI) and Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), the state government has granted permission to open spas and ayurvedic centres which are a part of hotels in Kerala. Such facilities can now operate with strict compliance of the Covid-19 protocols set by the health department.
Although ayurvedic resorts and retreats were operational in the state, spas and ayurvedic centres in hotels were closed since the lockdown was declared last March.
While the government has removed restrictions on the wellness tourism sector completely, the industry stakeholders want the current quarantine norms for visitors from outside Kerala to be waived off at least for people visiting for ayurvedic treatments and therapies.
Seven days mandatory quarantine for visitors from outside the state who want to stay more than a week in the state is creating a lot of hurdles for the wellness industry. The ayurvedic therapies generally demand 11 to 28 days stay in the centres. An additional seven day quarantine as per the current guidelines discourages people from visiting Kerala, said an industry insider.
In a recent memorandum to the Chief Minister, CKTI has asked to review the quarantine policy for visitors who wish to visit Kerala for ayurvedic / medical treatments. “We want the government to remove the quarantine rule for visitors coming with prior booking of any approved ayurvedic centre,” said Sajeev Kurup, President, CKTI. The tourism federation also asked similar relaxation for foreign tourists who wish to visit the state for medical tourism. “People coming on a medical visa with prior booking in any approved ayurvedic resort or hospital with a Covid negative certificate obtained less than 48 hours prior to the arrival should also be excluded from the requirement of seven day quarantine,” he added.