Inter-district travel within Karnataka is now allowed without the need for passes, the Karnataka government has clarified. This means that travellers hoping to go from one district to another within Karnataka can move freely from 7 am to 7 pm. But they will be asked to stop at district borders since officials are checking for people travelling from other states.
This is because all inter-state travellers will be institutionally quarantined in a hostel or hotel identified by the government. "Our control rooms are coordinating. Details of vehicles entering the state border will be communicated to the destination district. Vehicles will be checked at the destination and those persons arriving from outside the state will be quarantined," a senior police official told TNM.
Despite this, some district administrations are continuing to collect details of travellers entering their district. "We are still checking the inter-district passes on the border and we are still continuing with data collection to be on the safer side. We are awaiting clarity from the state government about this," says Mysuru DC Abhiram Shankar.
However, he added that no travellers are being turned away if they do not have passes.
Earlier, people were asked to provide a reason for travel and also asked to upload relevant documents supporting their reason. The options ranged from returning migrants, loss of job, death in family, medical emergency, and other.
Public transport was thrown open in Karnataka on Tuesday and over 1,500 Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses commuted in the state transporting people to different districts. There will be no checking of people travelling in these buses, except for thermal screening to check temperature at the start of the journey.
Officials are also grappling with the challenge of maintaining physical distancing. Buses are commuting with reduced capacity. For instance, only 30 people commuted in KSRTC buses from Bengaluru to Mysuru.
However, maintaining physical distancing was a tougher challenge in bus stations across the state which were crowded on Tuesday. "Communicating the need for physical distancing remains a challenge and we are trying to do this in addition to the other work we have," says Mysuru DC Abhiram Shankar.
The Karnataka government reported 149 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday including 105 people with travel history to Maharashtra. The state has reported 1395 COVID-19 cases so far.