The Kerala government on Friday, February 4 announced new guidelines for those travelling to the state from abroad amid the current COVID-19 situation with the Omicron variant that is prevalent. The guidelines stated that all international travellers coming to Kerala will undergo symptom surveillance once they arrive irrespective of duration of stay in the state. If any traveller is found to be symptomatic, they will be required to take an RT-PCR test. Following this, the guidelines state that further action has to be taken by the travellers based on the result of the test. The guidelines also state that the cost for the RT-PCR test for the travellers will be borne by them.
Additionally, a random test of 2% of international travellers from each flight will be conducted. The selection of the passengers to undergo the test will be done by the airline officers. For this, however, the passengers will not have to pay any money and the RT-PCR test will be done at the state’s expense. The guidelines came after the COVID-19 expert group provided recommendations to the government.
The guidelines also stated that it is advisable for international travellers to remain in home quarantine for seven days and monitor their health. In case they develop any COVID-19 symptoms, the guideline states that they need to undergo a COVID-19 test. Further, the travellers need to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour during their stay and are also advised to “avoid attending congregation, closed space gatherings and other crowded places”.
All the RT-PCR test samples collected from international travellers will be sent for genome sequencing, the guidelines stated. The travellers are also advised to take a Rapid Antigen Test on the eighth day of arrival into the state for their own safety.
Kerala on Friday recorded 38,684 fresh infections which raised the total caseload to 62,11,116. The southern state had reported 42,677 COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Kerala on Friday also reported 595 deaths which raised the total fatalities in Kerala to 57,296, according to a government release.