Monday, August 02, 2021

Karnataka: RT-PCR negative reports mandatory for flyers from today

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government’s order on Saturday afternoon making RT-PCR negative reports mandatory for people entering the state from Kerala and Maharashtra caught many travellers, especially those who had planned to take Saturday and Sunday flights, off guard. The reason: A Covid test result takes anywhere between 12 to 24 hours.

However, passengers were a relieved lot as airlines stepped in and relaxed rules till late Sunday. They allowed those with vaccination certificates to travel. Passengers who were wary of taking risks, put off their travel plans.

Karnataka’s earlier policy was to allow those having taken at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to enter the state without an RT-PCR test report.

However, Saturday’s announcement said irrespective of the vaccination status of passengers, they must carry an RT-PCR negative report not more than 72 hours old. The order also said airlines should not issue boarding passes to people without the test report.

“My Air Asia flight to Bengaluru from Kochi was on Sunday afternoon and I learnt of the order only on Saturday evening,” said K Ajayan from Ernakulam in Kerala, who works at an IT firm in Kadubeesanahalli, Bengaluru.

“Since Kerala remains under weekend lockdown, I couldn’t find a lab to take a Covid test on time and I had to postpone my trip to Tuesday.”

Many people scheduled to fly to Karnataka from different parts of Kerala and Maharashtra made frantic calls to airline helplines with queries on their planned trip. Following this, most domestic airlines relaxed the RT-PCR report rule on Saturday and Sunday.

02/08/21 Times of India

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