As the domestic flight services are set to resume from May 25, the Kerala government has announced that all the incoming passengers will have to undergo 14 days quarantine. However, it has exempted people who will visit the state for business purposes for a short duration. State health minister K K Shailaja had said domestic flyers arriving in Kerala must undergo strict home quarantine as per the lockdown guidelines, in view of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state. "There is no change in that. Most people will be coming from the major hotspots of the country," she said.
Earlier on Friday, the Karnataka government also decided to put incoming domestic flight passengers from six 'high prevalence states' under strict 7-day institutional quarantine to avert the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The government issued the Standard Operating Procedure for people coming into Karnataka from other States and UTs following the relaxation of travel restrictions under lockdown 4.0.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that domestic flights will recommence in a calibrated manner from May 25 onwards. Taking to Twitter, Puri stated that all airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from Monday onwards. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) then issued a detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to all its airports.
Civil Aviation minister Puri, also announced that there will be a new fare structure to keep flight travel affordable. He said that for this fare structure sets a minimum and maximum level for three months - for e.g. Delhi-Mumbai flight fare will be set Rs 3500 and the maximum level at Rs 10000.
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Even as the state has been leading the battle against COVID-19, in the highest single-day spike in cases on Friday, Kerala reported 42 cases, including 21 returnees from Maharashtra. This took the total coronavirus cases to 732 while over 80,000 are under observation.
Addressing a press briefing on Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed that a total of 12 persons from Kannur district, seven in Kasargod district, five each from Kozhikode and Palakkad districts, four each in Thrissur and Malappuram districts, two from Kottayam district, and one each in Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad district are those who have tested positive. There are 28 hotspots in the state.