Covid-19: Karnataka makes negative RT-PCR report mandatory for travellers from Kerala over Delta plus scare
The Karnataka government on Thursday announced new restrictions in place for travellers visiting the state from neighbouring Kerala, citing the detection of Delta plus Covid-19 variant in some districts there.
According to the new order, a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test, not older than 72 hours, is mandatory for travellers from Kerala to enter the state. However, some exemptions have also been provided for those fully vaccinated or for people travelling in situations of dire emergency.
“Negative RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours shall be compulsorily produced by the passengers coming to Karnataka by flight, bus, train, taxi, personal transport etc. This will also be applicable for all the flights originating from Kerala to Karnataka,” the order said. The government has also directed the airlines to issue boarding passes only to passengers who carry a negative RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours.
Similarly, the government also said that the railway authorities would ensure compliance in case of passengers training by trains. Meanwhile bus conductors have been ordered to check passengers travelling by bus.
In its order, the government directed the deputy commissioners of Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Mysuru and Chamarajanagara, districts that border Kerala, to make necessary arrangements and deploy personnel at check posts to ensure that all vehicles which enter the state are compliant with the rules.
Also, students and the public visiting the state every day for education, business and other reasons have been asked to undergo a RT-PCR test once in 15 days.
The new restrictions however came with some exemptions. Negative RT-PCR certificate is not mandatory for people in possession of the Covid-19 vaccination certificate (those fully vaccinated with two doses).
Children below two years of age, constitutional functionaries and health care professionals have also been permitted to travel without the negative certificate.
Also, people travelling in dire emergency situations (death, medical treatment etc.,) would be permitted but a swab sample along with necessary details like phone number address etc., would be collected on entering the state. Further action would be taken as per state protocol upon receiving their test report, the order said.
The government also warned of legal action against those found in violation of the rules. Currently there are two cases of the Delta Plus variant detected in the state, according to a bulletin from the health department earlier on Thursday.