Thiruvananthapuram: Keralites travelling to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are finding it tough to cross the borders, especially Walayar and Thalapadi, after tighter curbs were enforced by these two states on Monday.
Police have made a negative RT-PCR test mandatory for travellers from Kerala in the wake of a surge in Covid cases.
At the Thalapadi border in Kasaragod, the entry point to Mangalore in Karnataka, those with records showing they had taken double dose of Covid vaccine were allowed entry.
But after 8am on Monday, things changed. The Karnataka police insisted on an RT-PCR test result to allow entry to that state.
A Keralite who protested was taken into custody by the Karnataka police.
But enraged Kerala residents swung into action and blocked all vehicles coming from Karnataka to enter Kerala.
"We had contacted the Karnataka officials who said those who have taken both the doses of vaccine will be allowed. Now, they they are insisting a RT-PCR test result taken 72 hours ahead of the journey. The police are not even allowing accident victims travelling from Kerala to hospitals in Mangalore," said angry protesters.
The protesters also alleged that the "sudden decision" of the Karnataka government has severely affected the people of Kasaragod, who depend on Mangalore for employment, medical aid and education.
Police, meanwhile, said that they will file a case against people who blocked the highway.
The sudden decision of the neighbouring state governments to restrict free movement is on account of the rising number of daily cases in Kerala, where over one lakh new cases were recorded in the past six days alone.
The test positivity rate continues to hover above 12 per cent in Kerala, while the national average is 2.81 per cent.