In a minor relaxation to travellers coming to Kerala from other states, the government has extended the validity of the RT-PCR negative certificate that needs to be furnished for entry. As per the existing guidelines, people coming to the state should carry a negative RT-PCR certificate taken within 48 hours before entering Kerala. But this has now been relaxed. As per the guidelines issued by the state government on Tuesday (May 11), interstate travellers can carry RT-PCR certificates taken within 72 hours before the start of the journey.
However, there is no clarity on whether the RT-PCR certificate is mandatory to enter Kerala and if the quarantine option continues to be available. As per the earlier order, those coming from other states to Kerala should either produce a negative RT-PCR certificate taken 48 hours before the journey or undergo 14 days room quarantine.
But the new modified guideline has not made a clarification on this. Police officials working in various interstate borders in Kerala also expressed concerns over the lack of clarity.
â€śThere is no clarity about the details of this modified guideline. We expect a new order to be released in a few days,â€ť said a police official at the Walayar interstate border.
Meanwhile, officials also added that there is a decrease in the number of passengers who are returning to the state since the lockdown started.
Other lockdown modifications
The state government has also brought certain interim modifications in the existing lockdown guidelines.
Due to the festival of Ramzan, â€śmeat shops shall be permitted to function up to 10 pm on May 12 for home delivery only to cater to Ramzan needs,â€ť it states. As per the existing rules, all shops should be shut by 7.30 pm.
May 15 has also been declared a holiday for financial institutions including banks as per the modified guidelines.
Meanwhile, the state government has ordered teachers and other government staff who are not able to go to work due to the lockdown, to work as part of district administrations in the COVID-19 management of the districts. All department heads have been directed to furnish the details of such government staff and teachers to District Collectors.
The lockdown which started on May 10 will go on till May 16.