When DTNext visited the beach, there was a moderate crowd which only grew as the minutes ticked on. While large portions of the sand were unoccupied, most locals arrived in pairs or threes. A few families were also seen walking on the beach. However, mask regulations were thrown to the salt-crisped wind, with less than 50% of the visitors wearing a mask, and, of those who wore masks, very many wrapped it around their necks instead of covering their nose and mouth. When asked, an attendee without a mask said, “We are outdoors, and there is no need to wear masks due to the ventilation. Besides, we are almost recovered from the pandemic now. As long as we keep to ourselves, we will be fine.” Social distancing was seen in spare intervals at the beach on Monday. The most crowding was seen beside the several stalls lining the entrance of the beach. Many visitors, in an attempt to buy snacks, food or water, crowded the stalls. Social distancing was also not enforced by shop owners. Otherwise, visitors generally kept to themselves.
Locals seemed generally pleased that the beach was open. According to Jayanthi, a local of Kodambakkam, who came with her daughter, said, “We are so happy to visit the beach after so many months. The air is fresh and the feeling of the sand under my feet is indescribable. But we won’t spend much time, only about an hour or so, before larger crowds arrive.” Jubilance was seen in the children, who excitedly raced across the sand. Youngsters took to playing cricket on the sand, and the many rides and entertainment stalls were thronged by families. Social distancing was not see Mahabs see less footfall after several months
Mahabs sees less footfall after several months
Tourist spots in Mahabalipuram were opened for the visitors on Monday after eight months. However, the crowd was very less and most of them claimed they were unsatisfied due to enforcement of strict COVID restrictions After the State government allowed opening up of tourist spots from Monday, visitors were allowed in Mahabalipuram from 8 am. The tourists were allowed only after checking their body temperature and all of them had to wear face masks and maintain social distancing. Also, children below 10 years and senior citizens were not allowed to enter inside. The pregnant women were also asked not to visit the tourist places.
On the first day, the crowd was very less in Mahabalipuram as half of the visitors returned home after seeing the restrictions. The visitors feel that the government should allow children and senior citizens who are visiting with their families since they could not leave them and come. Earlier, tourists who wanted to visit Krishna’s butterball, Shore temple, and Pancha Rathas needed to buy tickets from the counter for Rs 40. On Monday, the ticket counters were not yet opened and the visitors were asked to book tickets online. Locals said many people did not know how to book tickets online and several didn’t have a smartphone so they skipped those places where tickets are necessary. Few families who came with their children also had to return disappointed. n at these stalls, and it is unclear if they sanitised the machinery after each use.