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Updated 8 February 2022

From travel bubbles and contactless travel to open-dated accommodation packages, the Indian tourism industry is taking baby steps to enter the new normal. Due to the Omicron variant outbreak, Kerala has issued a fresh set of rules for travellers coming from high-risk countries.

Read more about the latest quarantine and testing guidelines in Kerala here.

Kerala travel guidelines

Both domestic, as well as international passengers arriving at any of the airports in Kerala, must be in possession of an e-pass and will be thermally screened upon arrival. All passengers must download Aarogya Setu App and have a valid e-pass after registering their details in the state’s COVID Jagratha portal.

Kerala quarantine rules & testing guidelines

Domestic passengers

Testing

As per the Government of Kerala’s domestic guideline, unvaccinated domestic travellers, must undergo the RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to entering Kerala.

Fully vaccinated individuals (those who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine) are exempted from pre-departure RT-PCR requirement only if they present their final vaccination certificate.

Those who arrive at Trivandrum and are not in possession of the RT-PCR negative report will need to undergo a PCR test upon arrival at their own cost at a facility outside the airport. If the port of arrival is Kochi the RT-PCR testing facility is available at the airport. Travellers who don’t want to undergo RT-PCR test upon arrival shall be required to undergo mandatory 14 days of home quarantine.

Quarantine

If an individual is tested negative, home quarantine will not be needed. However, if the PCR test is positive, they will have to follow the state guidelines of isolation and testing as specified by the authorities.

Domestic passengers will be subject to 14 days of home quarantine who are not in possession of RT-PCR negative certificate and are not willing to undergo RT PCR upon arrival.

Passengers who are not in possession of the RT-PCR negative report shall be required to undergo an RT-PCR test upon arrival at their own cost at facility outside the airport if their port of arrival is Trivandrum. If the port of arrival is Kochi Calicut or Kannur the RT-PCR testing facility is available at the airport.

Short visit

Those travellers who intend to stay in Kerala for a short period of time for purposes like business, official, trade, medical, court cases, property management or any like purposes shall be mandatorily required to carry RT-PCR negative report not earlier than 72 hours. If visiting for less than 7 days, travellers will be exempt from home quarantine provided they obtain an entry pass for short visit from the Jagratha portal. To receive the short visit permit link you will have to register here first.

You are expected to provide all the necessary details of your itinerary, along with the purpose of your visit, contact person, and local accommodation. If you intend to deviate from this during your visit, the same needs to be informed to the authorities with valid reasons. Such travellers will be allowed to stay in Kerala for seven days without mandatory quarantine.

International passengers

All inbound international passengers will need to undergo self-symptom surveillance, regardless of their duration of stay in Kerala. Those found symptomatic must undertake an RT-PCR test and observe a 7-day mandatory quarantine. However, the RT-PCR test and 7-days compulsory quarantine is not mandatory for all international travellers.

Travellers from high-risk countries

Passengers entering Kerala from high-risk countries including South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Israel, Tanzania, Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, Zambia, the UK and entire Europe will be subject to additional measures on arrival in India:

  • Submit sample for post-arrival RT-PCR COVID-19 test at the point of arrival (self-paid). Such travellers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.
  • If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days, re-test on the 8th day of quarantine and upload test results on Air Suvidha Portal. If negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days.
  • However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples will be sent for genomic testing at the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) laboratory network.
  • They shall be managed at separate isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol including contact tracing.
  • The contacts of such positive case should be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per laid down protocol.

Covid test samples of passengers from high-risk countries will be sent for virus mutation tests. India has now extended the flight ban on affected countries till 31 January 2022.

Travellers from other countries

  • Upload 14 days travel history on Air Suvidha portal.
  • Undergo an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure to India and upload the result on Air Suvidha portal.
  • A random sample of 2% of the travellers (chosen at the discretion of the airlines) will undergo RT-PCR testing at the airport on arrival.
  • All travellers shall have to undergo 7 days of home quarantine followed by a PCR test on day 8 of their arrival. The day 8 test results must be uploaded on the Air Suvidha portal.

Passengers must upload the following documents on the Air Suvidha Portal:

  • a COVID-19 negative RT-PCR result from a test taken within 72 hours before the departure
  • a self-health declaration form
  • declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and to abide by the decision of the government authority to undergo home quarantine/self-health monitoring for 14 days or as warranted.

COVID-19 testing facilities in Kerala

Along with government medical centers, numerous private labs have been set up following ICMR guidelines to meet the COVID-19 testing demands in Kerala. There are an estimated 47 government hospitals/laboratories and 121 private ones in the state of Kerala, providing COVID-19 testing using various diagnostic methods. Here are a list of private Covid-19 testing labs for your reference.

It’s recommended to call the toll-free number 1075 or central helpline number +91-11-23978046 for information before going to get tested. In Kerala, you may also call 0471-255205, the state helpline number for COVID-19.

Please carry your government ID card (Aadhar card/Passport/Voter ID) and proof of your address when you proceed to get tested at any of the laboratories/hospitals.

Travellers will be charged INR 500 for an RT PCR test, INR 2,500 for expert NATA test, INR 1,500 for TrueNat test, INR 1,150 for RT Lab test, and INR 300 for rapid antigen test including all charges. If you are getting yourself tested at the airport on arrival, the test cost will remain the same as prescribed by the state.