Travellers coming to Karnataka from Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab and Chandigarh no longer need to carry negative RT-PCR certificates.
"As per ICMR's advisory about COVID-19 testing in the second wave and considering the current situation, it is now instructed to stop the process of verifying RT-PCR negative test reports for individuals arriving from Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Chandigarh,” reads the circular issued by Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary to the Karnataka government.
“However, it is mandatory that those with COVID-19 symptoms should carry a RT-PCR negative test," it added.
Earlier, arrangements were made at airports for verifying the RT-PCR negative report and testing the samples for those who arrive without the above-said report, so as to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. The test reports had to be less than 72 hours old, and were checked by airlines prior to boarding.
The state government's circular further stated that COVID appropriate behaviour will have to be followed in airports in the interest of public health.
The negative RT-PCR test certificates were made mandatory for travellers from these four places in March 2021.
The new circular comes at a time Bengaluru and Karnataka is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The state reported 48,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday. The death toll recorded on Friday was alarmingly high at 592, which included 346 deaths in Bengaluru. The active cases too breached the five lakh mark on Friday and stood at 5,36,641. The cases and deaths in the state have spiralled since mid-April prompting fresh lockdown measures to be extended till May 24 in the state.