E-pass compulsory in Tamil Nadu, as per new travel guidelines

Domestic and international passengers travelling to Tamil Nadu now require an 'e-pass' to enter the state, according to new travel advisory by the state health department

Tamil Nadu, coronavirus, COVID-19, Lockdown, death toll, new cases
The Tamil Nadu health department has issued a new set of travel guidelines for domestic and international passengers entering the state, as COVID-19 cases increase in the state. Photo: PTI

A new set of travel guidelines has been issued by the health department in Tamil Nadu (TN), even as the state added an additional 526 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday (March 6), taking its total tally to 8,54,554. TN is one of the eight states in the country, which is showing an upward trajectory in daily new cases.

According to the latest guidelines released by the Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Department in the wake of the increasing number of cases in the state, business travellers on a short 72-hour trip or less than three days to TN, are now exempted from home quarantine, reported News Minute.

However, the state now requires an “e-pass”, a compulsory document for all international passengers and domestic travellers, with an exception of residents of the neighbouring states of Puducherry, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, have to carry with them when they enter the state.

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Under the new guidelines, stiffer rules have been imposed for all international passengers, particularly from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, flying into TN as the final destination. They are now required to submit their samples for testing at the TN airports, even if they have tested negative for coronavirus in other Indian airports on arrival in the country.

Also read: Tamil Nadu extends COVID-19 lockdown till March 31

Meanwhile, all the passengers from Europe and the Middle East (other than UK, Brazil and South Africa) should upload a COVID-19 Self-Declaration Form (SDF) on the Air Suvidha portal before they travel to India. It is also mandatory that they should also declare their travel history, 14 days before their arrival.

Seventy-two hours before departure, they should have conducted an RT-PCR test and carry the COVID-19 test negative report with them. This has to be uploaded on the www.newdelhiairport.in portal, said News Minute.

In an earlier order on travel guidelines on February 24, the TN government had made it mandatory for all domestic and international passengers travelling to the state from other states and Union territories (except Kerala and Maharashtra) to just monitor their health for 14 days from the date of arrival.

Also read: Tamil Nadu bagged highest allocation for COVID-19 battle

However, Kerala and Maharashtra residents visiting TN had to mandatorily undergo home quarantine for seven days and monitor their health based on symptoms. And, the symptomatic passengers had to test for COVID-19.

In August last year, Tamil Nadu had issued an order exempting all business passengers entering the state for a short stay of 72 hours from quarantine norms to help boost business in the state following months of total lockdown.

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