Travelling, as we knew it until two years ago, has changed. Ever since the pandemic happened, there have been some restrictions in place. While the first half of 2020 was all about staying indoors, the latter half saw some ease of restrictions, vis-a-vis travel. As more travellers have started planning domestic trips just so they can have a change of scene, Kerala has emerged as a popular destination for those looking to satiate their wanderlust.
If you are planning to visit the southern state any time soon, keep these important pointers and dos and don’ts in mind, so as to have some clarity. Remember, besides basic safety protocols, other COVID-19-related rules may vary from state to state. As such, a non-issue in your home state may be a grave issue in the destination state. Read on.
* According to the latest guidelines issued by the Government of Kerala, domestic tourists who visit the state for a short trip — of less than seven days — are exempted from quarantine.
* All domestic tourists should register with “COVID Jagratha portal”.
* If the tourist plans to extend their stay, they may have to undergo a test at their own cost on the seventh day from ICMR/state government-approved laboratories. They will be required to follow health advisories, and remain in paid quarantine till the results arrive.
* Domestic tourists who plan to stay for more than seven days, have to produce a COVID-negative certificate (RTPCR test/Rapid Antigen test done 48 hours prior to arrival from ICMR/state government-approved laboratory), or undergo Rapid Antigen Test/RTPCR test at a cost upon arrival.
* Tourists who stay for more than seven days, but do not produce the test results done prior to arrival, or have not tested upon arrival, will have to stay in quarantine for seven days, and will be tested on the seventh day. If they test negative, further quarantine of seven days will become optional.
* Avoid travelling altogether if you are showing any symptoms.
* Maintain social distancing throughout your stay, and carry sanitizers.
* Wear a face mask at all times.
* You will have to stay away from elderly people and those with co-morbidities. Pregnant women, those above 65 years of age, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to take extra precautions as per MHA guidelines.
* Practise hand hygiene before and after touching frequently-touched surfaces.
* Avoid public places, congregations and public transport.
* Tourists are required to pre-book their stay in the hotel.
* They have to have a pre-arranged specific itinerary for the visit.
* They are expected to do self surveillance and look for symptoms during their stay — such as fever, cough, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of smell/taste, fatigue — and contact DISHA 1056 if they present any.
* Strictly isolate yourself in case you feel sick.
All the aforementioned information is available on the Kerala Tourism website.