Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country, several state governments have made a COVD-19 test mandatory for travellers on arrival. States like Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Tamil Nadu have revised guidelines for domestic air travel.
Fresh Covid-19 cases are showing an alarming upward trend in the country, with 16,738 cases being reported in the last 24 hours. This took the overall tally to 1,10,46,914 on Thursday, Union Health Ministry said.
The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday also revealed that two new strains of the COVID-19 -- the N440K variant and the E484Q variant -- have been detected in Maharashtra and Kerala.
However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that these two new strains are responsible for the surge in cases in some states, including Telangana, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of the NITI Aayog said.
These new strains have also been witnessed in UK, South Africa and Brazil.
Here's a look at the state-wise guidelines for domestic travel:
All domestic passengers coming from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and Kerala will have to carry RT-PCR negative test report with them conducted 72 hours before. This is applicable to all travellers irrespective of whether they are travelling by flights or trains. If a flyer fails to provide a negative COVID report, or does not have the RT-PCR test report, he/she has to undergo a test at the Mumbai airport. Only after undertaking the test, the passengers will be allowed to enter the city.
Karnataka has made it mandatory for passengers arriving in the state to have a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours.
The Chhattisgarh government has asked authorities to ensure screening of people coming into the state from outside through various modes of transportation.
In a directive issued to divisional commissioners and district collectors on Monday, the General Administration Department (GAD) has asked them to make arrangements for COVID-19 screening and contact tracing of people entering Chhattisgarh from other states.
The authorities have been asked to ensure strict adherence to SOPs related to COVID-19 screening for passengers at Raipur and Jagdalpur airports, particularly for travellers arriving from Delhi and Mumbai. Besides, people visiting Chhattisgarh from states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and the Union Territory of Delhi, should be screened at railway stations, bus stands and inter- state entry points.
According to a report by the Indian Express, passengers arriving in the national capital will only be screened thermally. But, domestic passengers need not produce a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 report.
The West Bengal government made it mandatory for passengers arriving on flights from Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, and Telangana to produce a negative RT-PCR test report.
According to a notification issued by the health department, passengers should undergo the RT-PCR test within 72 hours of the flight departure.
"In view of the increasing trend of COVID cases in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, and Telangana, and in continuation of order issued last August, this is to inform you that the state government has decided that from February 27 noon, all passengers coming to the state from the four states must mandatorily carry a COVID negative RT-PCR report," it said.
All passengers would have to undergo thermal screening on arrival. No COVID-19 testing is mandatory for passengers arriving from other airports in Tamil Nadu. COVID-19 testing would be done for only symptomatic persons coming from other states/UT/countries.
(With inputs from Agencies)