Berhampur: Tourists thronged the serene Gopalpur beach on Sunday after months-long restrictions on entry to the beaches of Odisha due to the coronavirus were relaxed by the state government.
More than 5,000 tourists rushed to the beach after the government eased the restriction, said sources in the tourism sector.
Gopalpur beach was out of bounds for tourists for the last 16 months, since March 2020 to check the spread of COVID during the pandemic. The entry and exit points of the beach were barricaded and police was keeping a strict vigil to ensure that no tourist entered the beach.
As part of the unlock process, the government had decided to open tourism centres in the state. As per the unlock guidelines issued by the government, all sea beaches, parks will remain open but wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and use of hand sanitiser is mandatory.
Meanwhile the beautification plan of Gopalpur beach has gone astray. Many decorative plants have withered and designer light posts damaged.
Berhampur Development Authority had spent Rs 6 crore and about 90 percent of the construction work has already been completed, sources said.