Karnataka government on Saturday announced a special surveillance measure making mandatory a negative RT-PCR certificate for people arriving to the State from Kerala and Maharashtra.

The negative certificate should not be older than 72 hours irrespective of the vaccination status, said the government in a circular.

The circular signed by the Additional Chief Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare Jawaid Akhtar said, "The revised special surveillance measure is notified herewith to be complied with strictly for arrivals from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra in view of the current COVID-19 situation."

The certificate is mandatory for all passengers coming to Karnataka by flight, bus, train and personal transport, the circular said.

It said the certificate is applicable for all the flights originating from Kerala and Maharashtra. "Airlines shall issue boarding passes only to the passengers carrying RT-PCR negative certificate not older than 72 hours," it said.

Railway authorities shall be responsible for ensuring that all passengers travelling by trains carry the negative RT-PCR certificates, it said.

For all the passengers travelling by bus, the conductor shall ensure that they possess the negative certificates.

Deputy Commissioners of the districts bordering Kerala like Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru, and those bordering Maharashtra like Belagavi, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi and Bidar have been directed to establish checkposts and make arrangements to deploy necessary staff to ensure that all the vehicles entering Karnataka are checked for compliance.

The certificate is mandatory for students and the public visiting Karnataka daily for education, business and other reasons. The visitors should undergo RT – PCR test once in 15 days and possess the negative test report.

Those exempted from carrying the negative RT-PCR certificate are constitutional functionaries, healthcare professionals and children aged below two.

In the case of those in dire emergency situations (death in the family and medical treatment among others) their swabs shall be collected on arrival in Karnataka.

The government on Friday ordered the district administrations to strictly monitor the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions and to impose additional containment measures as deemed necessary.

The order said there was a spike in the number of new cases in the border-States as well as in a few places in the State. This warrants close monitoring and stringent micro- containment measures.For example, the border-State of Kerala is currently seeing a surge in COVID-19.