Virtually backing resumption of domestic air services, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday that all those who reach the state by such flights will have to undergo 14 days home quarantine as per the lockdown protocol but exempted people coming for business needs from this.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had on Wednesday announced that domestic passenger flight services will resume from May 25 in a calibrated manner.
"Some business executives may visit the state for a meeting or something and we cannot demand 14 days quarantine for them," Pinarayi said, adding that necessary health precautions will be taken in their case.
Earlier in the day, state Health Minister K K Shailaja had said domestic flyers arriving in Kerala must undergo strict home quarantine as per the lockdown guidelines, in view of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state.
"There is no change in that. Most people will be coming from the major hotspots of the country," she said.
In the highest single day spike in COVID-19 cases in Kerala so far, 42 people, including 21 returnees from Maharashtra, tested positive for the virus on Friday, taking the infection tally to 732 while over 80,000 are under observation.
Kerala had reported its fifth fatality on Thursday night after a 73-year-old woman, who had travelled from Maharashtra to Thrissur, along with her son in a taxi, died.
The last rites of the woman were held on Friday morning following COVID-19 protocol.
Pinarayi pointed out that the increase in cases was not due to relaxations in lockdown curbs, but because many Keralites from abroad and other states were returning.
However, the state cannot close the door on its own people, the chief minister said.