Port Blair, Oct. 5: The Andaman Association of Tour Operators (AATO) has suggested the A&N Administration to formulate testing/ quarantine rules for the incoming tourists, since Andaman has decided to re-commence tourism after a long gap.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary, the AATO President, M Vinod thanking the Administration for announcing the reopening of Andamans for tourism said that there are a few hiccups that are arising whilst figuring tourist arrival, their stay, transportation, test and quarantine. These are extraordinary times, which necessitate extraordinary measures but at the same time the tourist experience in Andamans must only be seamless. Their journey through Andamans must be streamlined to ensure there are no hassles on the way.

Currently, no such guideline is in place. Vinod has thus suggested the Chief Secretary certain measures that are the need of the hour:


a) Whether the tourist can carry a COVID-19 negative test certificate? If yes, test certificates from which hospitals/test centres shall be considered valid and how many hours/days prior to arrival date will such a certificate be considered valid?

b) Whether the tourist shall be tested upon arrival at Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair? If yes, what kind of test? What shall be the price of the test per person and who shall bear the cost?


a) If a guest is tested negative, whether he will be quarantined or he can start his tour from day one .

b) If a guest is tested positive, what is the protocol to be followed by guest .

c) If, for example, in a family of four people, 1 or 2 members test positive, what shall be the protocol for them.


a) LMVs (Light Motor Vehicles) may be allowed to carry any number of tourists who belong to:

- the same household

- the same family

- the same group of travelers


By order of Supreme Court of India, airlines in India have been permitted to carry 100% of its passenger capacity. Similarly, all boats plying for tourists may be considered to carry tourists to its assigned maximum capacity. The financial implications of leaving seats vacant are severe for the owner/firm which would directly pass on to the tourist in the form of shooting up of fares. This in turn will have a negative impact on the industry which today needs every possible aid to revive.


a) No water sport has been permitted to operate except Snorkeling.

b) Other activities such as Seakart, Scuba Diving, Sea Walk etc. be reopened as these are the recreational activities that define their Andaman holiday and these are the very reasons for which tourists come to Andamans from faraway places.


Beach swimming may also be opened up in beaches.
The above are certain queries and requirements for the smooth functioning of tourism in the islands. It is therefore my earnest request that a tourism friendly and business friendly policy be formulated in consultation with stakeholders with precautionary measures in place.