The Karnataka government on Monday revised the protocols for interstate travellers and issued a circular saying that no quarantine period, no hand stamping, no registration and medical check-up at the state borders is required. This is a first since the coronavirus COVID-19 induced lockdowns were implemented in March.
However, they will follow the standard COVID-19 precautions like compulsory wearing of face mask, the physical distancing of 2 meters (or 6 feet), frequent hand-washing with soap and water or use of hand sanitizer, follow cough etiquette, etc. while in public areas and workplaces.
The Centre on August 22 had asked all states to ensure that there should be no restrictions on the inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods during the ongoing unlocking process.
* The following aspects pertaining to inter-state travellers shall be discontinued henceforth:
a. Registration On Seva Sindhu portal
b. Entry and medical check-up at the state borders, bus stations, railway stations and airports
c. Screening at the receiving centres in the districts
d. Categorization of passengers
e. Hand stamping
f. 14 days of quarantine
g. lsolation and testing
h. Enforcement of home quarantine including poster on home door, information to neighbours/ Resident Welfare Association/Apartment Owners’ Associations, monitoring from Panchayat/ward level teams, flying Squad, IVRS call-centre outbound calls, quarantine watch app monitoring
* The incoming lnter-State Travellers are advised the following:
a. lf asymptomatic on arrival, they can report to work or perform their activities in the state without any requirement of 14 days home quarantine. However, they shall self-monitor their health for 14 days from the date of their arrival for any symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough, cold, throat pain, difficulty in breathing, etc. and immediately seek medical consultation without fail or call Apthamitra helpline 14410.
b. lf symptomatic on arrival, i.e. having symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 as mentioned vide above, they shall immediately self-isolate and seek medical consultation without fail or call Apthamitra helpline 14410.
c. They shall observe standard COVID-19 precautions like compulsory wearing of face mask, the physical distancing of 2 meters (or 6 feet), frequent hand-washing with soap and water or use of hand sanitizer, follow cough etiquette, etc. While in public areas and workplaces.
d. The District Health Authority / BBMP shall suitably and appropriately plan IEC campaign for the incoming travellers about the importance of self-reporting, self-isolation & COVID19 testing of symptomatic persons.
* This revised Circular shall apply to all inter-state travellers arriving in Karnataka from all States/UTs including business travellers, students, labourers coming for work, transit travellers, etc. irrespective of their purpose of visit or duration of stay in the State. Deputy Commissioners of all Districts / Commissioner, BBMP are hereby instructed to implement this with immediate effect and without any deviations at district levels.
On August 22, in communication to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had said there were reports that local level restrictions on movement were being imposed by various districts and states. Drawing attention to the Unlock 3 guidelines, Bhalla had said such restrictions are creating problems in inter-state movement of goods and services and are impacting supply chains, resulting in a disruption in economic activity and employment.
The unlock guidelines clearly state that there shall be no restrictions on the inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods, he had said in the letter. The guidelines also stated that no separate permission, approval or e-permit will be required for the movement of persons and goods for cross land border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries.
The home secretary had said restrictions amount to a violation of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005. The letter requested that no restrictions be imposed and it should be ensured that the unlock guidelines are followed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first announced lockdown with effect from March 25 to combat the coronavirus pandemic which was subsequently extended till May 31. Since June 1, the unlock process began with the opening up industrial activities and offices across the country.