Due to the rise of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron across the globe and in the state, the government of Karnataka has decided to impose certain restrictions for the general public and internal travelers.
The Latest COVID-19 Related Guidlines For Karnataka
The Government of Karnataka has issued a new COVID SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) after 2 confirmed cases of Omicron were detected in the state. Omicron is the latest variant of COVID 19 that was first identified in South Africa. The cases in Karnataka were confirmed through Genome Sequencing by the INSACOG. These cases were detected in late November 2021 and were the first cases to be reported in India.
The WHO (World Health Organization)had earlier issued a statement which was on the 26th of November 2021 declaring Omicron as a Variant of Concern (VoC). Based on the guidelines issued by the MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under the Government of India, the Department of Health and Family Welfare in Karnataka has issued a new set of guidelines for the public to curb the spread of this VoC in the state.
The guideline issued calls for strict screening and testing of international travelers arriving in the state from those nations that have been identified as ‘ at risk’.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an order dated September 28th, 2021 to ensure strict compliance with measures for timely intervention and effective containment of COVID 19. The enforcement of this order has been further extended till the 31st of December 2021 based on another order issued on the 30th of November 2021.
The latest COVID SOP issued by the Government of Karnataka contains the following instructions.
- The five-fold strategy to curb the spread of COVID 19 will be implemented strictly.
The fivefold strategy includes:
- Enforcement of compliance to COVID appropriate behavior
- The maximum number of participants allowed for all gatherings, conferences, and meetings is 500.
- COVID appropriate behavior during these gatherings should be maintained
- The organizers should ensure these instructions are enforced strictly
- All educational institutions must postpone their cultural fests/activities and other functions till the 15th of January 2022.
- Compulsory medical testing for:
- Health workers
- People with co-morbidities
- Old-aged (Above 65 years of age)
Restrictions For General Public
These medical tests will be carried out by the Government
- Compulsory vaccination for parents of students below 18 years of age who are attending school/college.
- Two doses of COVID 19 vaccines are compulsory
- Only those who have taken two doses of COVID 19 vaccines will be permitted to enter:
- Cinema Halls
- 2 doses of COVID 19 vaccines mandatory for Government employees
- Strict enforcement of wearing masks in the public continues.
- A fine of Rs. 250/- in the Municipal Corporation for violation of this rule
- A fine of Rs. 100/- in the other areas
- The Local Authorities, the District Authorities, and the BBMP must impose and collect these fines from the violators
- Areas/clusters reposting a higher number of COVID 19 cases will have active surveillance and intensive containment measures to curb the spread of this disease locally
- The border posts at the districts in Karnataka that adjoin the states of Maharashtra and Kerala will continue to hold strict surveillance.
- This will be based on the existing guidelines/circular issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department operating under the Government of Karnataka.
The Government of Karnataka has assigned the Chief Commissioner of BBMP, Police Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, The Heads of Departments, and other authorities for the strict implementation of these guidelines.
Updated International Arrival Guidelines In Karnataka
The changing evolving and changing status of the COVID-19 virus has made it important for state governments to regularly assess and update safety protocols. In light of the new emerging variant, the Karnataka state government has announced a new set of rules for all international travelers arriving in the state. The new guidelines supersede all other guidelines previously issued. The new rules are:
- All travelers must submit self-declaration forms on the Air Suvidha portal before starting their travel.
- They must also submit a copy of an RT-PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure.
- The travelers must also submit a declaration of authenticity for the report. Those found with false reports may face criminal prosecution.
- All travelers must agree to an undertaking on the Air Suvidha portal or the Ministry of Civil Aviation to abide with government rules of home quarantine or self-health monitoring as required.
- Travelers from certain countries may require additional checks. The list of these countries will change based on the spread of the new variant. It can be viewed on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website. Currently this includes:
- Countries in Europe
- The UK
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- Travelers from certain countries (Category A) that provide quarantine-free entry to Indians will be allowed certain relaxations on entry. It can be viewed on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website here.
- Children below the age of 5 years are exempted from pre and post-travel testing
Regulations To Be Followed During The Flight
- Airlines reserve the right to refuse boarding to travelers who have not submitted the required documents and those who show symptoms or a higher than normal temperature.
- All travelers are advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their phones and register on the same.
- Any passenger showing symptoms of COVID may be isolated during the flights
- All passengers must follow appropriate COVID-safety protocols and wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times.
- Relevant in-flight announcements for COVID-19 safety protocol will also be made during the flight.
Regulations To Be Followed On Arrival
- Deboarding must be done in an orderly manner with sufficient physical distancing
- Body temperature will be noted for all passengers
- Passengers must show a copy of the self-declaration form as submitted online
- Symptomatic passengers will be isolated and tested for the disease
- Fully vaccinated passengers (traveling over 14 days after their second dose) from category A countries can leave the airport directly and must monitor their health at home for the next 14 days.
- Partially or unvaccinated passengers from category A countries must be tested on arrival and once tested negative, must stay home quarantined for 7 days. A Re-test will be taken on the 8th day of arrival.
- All travelers must monitor their health for 14 days after arrival. If they show any symptoms or signs of falling ill, they must report to the nearest health facility or call the National/State helpline
Regulation For Travel By Sea/Land
The rules for international travelers arriving by land or sea are the same except that there is no portal for online submission of documents and hence the same must be shown on arrival.