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Kerala softens NRI rule of Covid-negative certificate

The move to make the certificate mandatory had triggered protests by NRIs and Opposition parties, which had alleged it was a bid to reduce the return of expatriates to Kerala, where returnees account for a major chunk of Covid-19 cases.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: June 25, 2020 2:40:12 am
kerala coronavirus update, kerala expats return, covid negative certificate , kerala covid tag, norka roots, kerala coronavirus cases, kerala covid death toll, The government has, however, put various conditions for passengers depending upon their country of origin, testing facility and status of Covid outbreak. (File Photo)

Climbing down from its earlier stand that a Covid-19 negative certificate is mandatory for flying to Kerala by special flights from the Middle East, the state government on Wednesday said “all returnees should sincerely try to take the test” in countries which offer that facility.

The move to make the certificate mandatory had triggered protests by NRIs and Opposition parties, which had alleged it was a bid to reduce the return of expatriates to Kerala, where returnees account for a major chunk of Covid-19 cases.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “All those who return from countries which have Covid-19 test facility should sincerely try to take the test 72 hours within the journey. Passengers who have not undergone tests abroad should undergo rapid antibody test on their arrival in Kerala airports. If required, they would have to take RT-PCR test also.”

The government has, however, put various conditions for passengers depending upon their country of origin, testing facility and status of Covid outbreak. For example, the test will be mandatory for passengers from the UAE as that country subjects all outbound passengers to antibody test.

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