Lakshadweep imposes travel restriction in view of the rising COVID cases in Kerala

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Kavaratti: The Lakshadweep administration has imposed curbs on the movement of people travelling to the mainland from the islands in view of the COVID-19 situation prevailing in neighbouring states, especially Kerala.

"Considering the circumstances, local residents of Lakshadweep islands are hereby advised to avoid all unnecessary travel to the mainland," said the order issued by Lakshadweep district Collector S Asker Ali on Thursday. The administration also directed the authorities officials concerned to give permission only for essential travel to mainland.

The islands have three entry points from mainland- Kochi and Kozhikode in Kerala and Mangaluru in Karnataka.

According to the administration, the COVID-19 situation has been stabilised and there are only 40 active cases in the islands as on August 12.

The administration said all those who come to the islands from mainland and other islands must undergo seven days mandatory quarantine at the institutional quarantine facilities provided by the administration or in their respective houses provided that there is a separate room with washroom. They must be tested for COVID-19 by the local health department after ending their quarantine period, the order said.

However, there will be only three days mandatory quarantine for those who have taken both doses of COVID-19 vaccination 14 days prior to the movement from mainland to islands or from one island to another on production of valid vaccination certificate, or for those persons who have become COVID-19 positive in the months on production of valid discharge certificate, the administration said.They will be tested after three days of quarantine.

Until mid-January this year, the islands were a COVID-19-free territory in the country.The administration had come under attack from the residents and politicians in the islands for its decision to relax the stringent quarantine measures in December 2020, causing a sudden spike in virus infection cases.

The administration's old standard operating procedure (SOP) had stipulated seven days quarantine for people in Kochi before taking an RT-PCR test for the travel. After arriving in Agatti also, they had to undergo another 14-day quarantine.

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