The Karnataka government has released new guidelines for interstate travellers, which are applicable from June 8. Self-registration on the Seva Sindhu portal is mandatory but no approval (or e-pass) is required to travel. Passengers from all states will be screened at the border check-posts, airports, railway stations, bus stands and at sea ports.
A 14-day home quarantine stamp will be marked on the hands of all passengers (at the back of the hand), except for business travellers.
Symptomatic passengers entering Karnataka from all states, including Maharashtra, will be taken for hospital isolation at COVID Care Centre (CCC) or Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) and will be tested upon arrival. If positive for coronavirus, they will be shifted to Dedicated COVID Hospitals (DCH). If tested negative, they will be sent for a 14-day home quarantine, after ruling out other health conditions.
All asymptomatic passengers travelling to Karnataka from Maharastra will now undergo seven days of institutional quarantine and seven days of home quarantine. The testing criteria for those returning Maharashtra has also been tweaked.
Persons aged above 50 years or/and with co-morbidity (HlV, tuberculosis, cancer, stroke, dialysis, organ transplant, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and other immunocompromised) will be tested once between the fifth and seventh day of their arrival in Karnataka.
Asymptomatic passengers from Maharashtra belonging to certain categories — those visiting over a death in the family, pregnant women, children aged below 10 years, elderly aged above 60 years, serious illness and human distress — will be exempted from institutional quarantine and allowed to quarantine at home. Their swabs will be collected for testing on arrival.
Persons from Maharashtra, who can produce a coronavirus-negative certificate from a lab approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), within the last two days of arrival, will be exempted from institutional quarantine and can go for 14-day home quarantine.
Earlier, the Karnataka government had said all passengers from Maharashtra — whether symptomatic or asymptomatic — must undergo seven days of institutional quarantine and seven days of home quarantine.
Asymptomatic passengers travelling to Karanataka from states other than Maharashtra can undergo 14-day quarantine at home. They will be tested if they exhibit symptoms during this period. They will be sent to institutional quarantine if they do not have the ideal environment for home quarantine, such as a large family, no separate rooms, slum and overcrowded areas.
Business travellers coming to Karnataka from all states, including Maharashtra, need to show proof of a return ticket, which is not later than seven days from the date of arrival in the state.
According to the revised guidelines, business travellers staying in Karnataka for less than 48 hours will be exempted from COVID-19 testing and quarantine, although they should wear masks, use hand sanitiser and follow cough etiquette.
Those staying for more than 48 hours and less than seven days will be tested for COVID-19 and can resume their work after the test results have returned negative. Until then, such persons should remain in quarantine. Alternatively, if business travellers carry a coronavirus-negative certificate from an ICMR-approved lab (not less than two days before arrival), they will be exempted from testing and quarantine.
The state government also stated that there will be no quarantine for business travellers who are natives of Karnataka and going to other states if the person is returning within four days. On the other hand, such persons returning after more than four days should report to Apthamitra Helpline (14410) regarding the status of their health during the next 14 days. They will also have to follow certain quarantine protocols.
Business travellers will not be hand-stamped upon their return. Transit travellers will, however, be issued a quarantine hand-stamp. Transit passengers should also carry a flight or train ticket which is not more than one day later than their date of arrival in Karnataka.
In another key change, deputy commissioners in various districts and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner have been empowered to assess and change quarantine of inter-state travellers from home quarantine to institutional quarantine and vice-versa.