While recent guidelines have made it mandatory for travellers from the bordering states of Kerala and Maharashtra to carry RT-PCR negative certificates not older than 72 hours while entering Karnataka, the state Health Department has extended these guidelines, after consultation with the Technical Advisory Committee, to Punjab and Chandigarh, both of which are also facing a surge in Covid-19 cases.
According to a circular dated March 22 issued by Jawaid Akhtar, ACS (Health), the following SOP is applicable for passengers entering Karnataka from Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Chandigarh:
(i) Negative RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours shall be compulsorily produced by passengers coming to Karnataka by flight, bus, train and personal transport. This will be applicable for all the flights originating in Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Chandigarh.
(ii) Airlines shall issue boarding passes only to passengers carrying RT-PCR negative certificate not older than 72 hours.
(iii) Railway authorities shall be responsible for ensuring that all passengers travelling by trains carry negative RT-PCR certificates.
(iv) For all passengers travelling by bus, the bus conductor shall ensure that they possess RT-PCR negative certificates.
(v) Deputy Commissioners of the districts bordering Maharashtra and Kerala shall make arrangements to ensure that all the vehicles entering Karnataka are checked for the compliance of the above requirement.
• Permitted exemptions for negative RT-PCR certificate:
(i) Constitutional functionaries and health care professionals.
(ii) Children below 2 years.
(iii) In dire emergency situations (death in the family, medical treatment, etc.), the passenger’s swab shall be collected on arrival in Karnataka with necessary details like phone number, address, etc., duly verified from his ID card. On receipt of the RT-PCR test report, further action will be taken as per the state protocol.
The above measures shall come into effect from 6 am on March 25.