Police in Kerala on Wednesday registered case against a group of 17 foreign tourists in Thiruvananthapuram for breaking the lockdown norms and going for a swim at the Kovalam Lighthouse beach.
Speaking to IANS, a police official said that a case has been registered against the foreigners for violating the norms and five locals who belong to the resort where these tourists were staying, were arrested.
"The local people who have been arrested have been released on bail, while the probe against the foreigners has begun," said the official.
The tourists were staying at a beach resort and they went for a swim before 7 am on Tuesday.
The group, consisting of both men and women, had a swim and when the lifeguards came at 7 am, they were surprised to find the group swimming in the sea. The guards immediately asked all the tourists to return to their hotel.
The foreigners from Russia, UK, Canada and France, were residing at five hotels near the beach.
The owners of the hotels expressed concern over the police booking the tourists, fearing the move would impact the tourism sectorâ€™s revival after the pandemic.The owners said that not all those who were booked had violated the lockdown orders that only a few in the list had stepped out for a swim, reported ToI.
Kovalam CI Anil Kumar told the paper that the police are collecting CCTV footage from the hotels to probe the matter. The cases have been booked under provisions of the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Act.
Soon after the lockdown, over 5,600 foreign tourists were stuck in the state with international flights being suspended. On Tuesday, an evacuation flight of British Airways left Kochi airport for Heathrow with 260 UK nationals who were stranded.
Among the 260 UK nationals, eight had undergone treatment for COVID-19. They were part of a 19-member tourist group who were earlier offloaded from a flight in March after one of them tested COVID-19 positive.