Traveling To Kerala During Covid

Last updated on 20 May 2021

What To Keep In Mind When Traveling To Kerala During Covid

The picturesque south Indian state of Kerala, with its coconut trees, lush greenery, and backwaters make it a must-visit destination on every tourist’s bucket list. However, pretty much everywhere else in the world, Kerala has also faced the brunt of the lockdown thanks to the Covid pandemic.

Traveling To Kerala During CovidYou may have started considering a visit to God’s Own Country. Is it worth a visit? Absolutely it is. But should you visit just yet? Well, the Covid pandemic is still around and not going to go away soon. That’s why we wouldn’t recommend travel just yet. But if you must, here are things to look out for while traveling to Kerala during Covid.

Kerala Travel Guidelines During Covid

The rising Covid cases have forced the government to enforce stricter rules when it comes to travel. The districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram, Ernakulam, and Thrissur are under ‘triple lockdown’ until May 23. As of 20 May 2021, traveling is allowed only for emergency reasons. Here are the Kerala travel guidelines during Covid.

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Getting To Kerala By Air

International passengers arriving at Kerala are to be mandatorily home quarantined for 7 days. Once this is done, they can avoid the additional 7 days of quarantine by taking an RT-PCR test and if the result is negative. Also, the coronavirus self-declaration form is mandatory for international arrivals.

Domestic passengers are exempt from quarantine altogether if they’re asymptomatic and are in Kerala for less than 7 days. However, those planning a longer stay are to be mandatorily quarantined for 7 days. This can be avoided if you have a report of a negative Covid test taken 48 hours before arrival.

All domestic and international passengers would be subject to mandatory thermal screening and must register themselves in the Covid-19 Jagratha Portal.

Getting To Kerala By Train

Train services have started in a staggered manner along with a number of special trains running. Owing to Covid precautions, however, there won’t be pantry cars in most trains, so you’ll have to bring your own food. Those with pantry cars will serve prepackaged food. You’re expected to install the Aarogya Setu app on your phone.

Getting To Kerala By Road

While you can enter Kerala by road, the better idea is to travel in your personal vehicle so that you don’t face too many restrictions like on flights. Also, you’re isolated from other travelers in your personal vehicle, so there’s even less risk of infection. However, depending on how far you live from Kerala, road travel can be expensive and tiring.

Whatever your preferred mode of transport, social distancing, masks, and regular sanitizing remain compulsory. Make sure that you never compromise on that. Also, register yourself on the Covid Jagratha portal.

Places To Visit In Kerala

Kavvayi Backwaters, Kannur

These backwaters have been overshadowed by their contemporaries in Kuttanad. However, this works perfectly in favor of the traveler who wishes to stay away from the crowds. The Kavvayi Backwaters are the largest of their kind in northern Kerala. While the island of Kavvayi used to be an important port back in the day, now it’s slowly developing into a tourist spot.

marari, marari travel guide, allapuzha, alleppey, kerala guide, Traveling To Kerala During CovidA number of watersports and leisure activities are now available to engage in Kavvayi and its surrounding islands and waters. Explore the wetlands, which are deemed ecologically important and teeming with life, on boats. The adventure seekers can walk on water by taking up water zorbing. The leisurely traveler can simply relax on the islands and drink in the sights and sounds of rural Kerala. If you seek the sun and sand, you can do just that by visiting the beach at the nearby Valiyaparamba island.

Nearest Airport: Kannur International Airport (61 km away)

Nearest Railway Station: Payyanur (4 km away)

Road: Kavvayi is a mere 4 kilometers from Payyanur, which is connected to all major cities.

Vagamon, Idukki

Dubbed the ‘Scotland of Asia’ by the British, Vagamon is a hill station that is lined with tea estates, verdant hills, and waterfalls. However, Vagamon has somehow eluded the mainstream tourist radar. For a socially distanced holiday up the hills, this is where you have to be.

5 Hillstations You Can Visit During Covid, Traveling To Kerala During CovidVagamon is surrounded by three hills – Thangal, Murugan, and Kurisumala. These lush green hills offer a lot to the traveler who’s on the lookout for a memorable and thrilling adventure. Each of them is dedicated to the three major religions of India and there are trekking trails for you to traverse. Of course, these hills being of religious significance, you can experience tranquility with spirituality. Also, be sure to visit the Vagamon Meadows Lake for a leisurely ride on the calm waters.

5 Hill Stations You Can Visit During Covid, Traveling To Kerala During CovidIf animal and bird watching is your thing, head out towards the nearby Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary. Those who want to take to the skies like a bird and get a breathtaking view of the valley can do just that by paragliding.

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (96 km away)

Nearest Railway Station: Kottayam (64 km away)

Road: Vagamon can be easily reached via Cochin and you can also avail yourself of public transport from the nearby major cities.

Marari Beach, Alappuzha

If what you’ve been seeking throughout the lockdown was sand under your feet and a salty breeze through your hair, head out towards Marari Beach in Alappuzha. When beaches are open for tourists, you want to stay away from the more popular ones.

marari, marari travel guide, allapuzha, alleppey, kerala guide, Traveling To Kerala During CovidThis secluded beach is ideal for couples seeking a getaway. There aren’t many activities to do here and is the perfect spot for a lazy beachside vacation. But of course, you can enjoy the culture and cuisine of the local fishermen. There are luxury resorts here, so if you’re willing to splurge, by all means, go for it. It’ll be worth it!

marari, marari travel guide, allapuzha, alleppey, kerala guide, Traveling To Kerala During CovidAlso, there are quite a few Ayurveda Panchakarma treatment centers close to the beach. Visit one of them to heal your body from the consequences of staying home for months together.

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (74 km away)

Nearest Railway Station: Alappuzha (14 km away)

Road: Marari Beach is 11 km away from Alappuzha, which is well connected to all major cities.

Also read: 6 Of The Best Offbeat Beaches In India

Covid Precautions When Traveling

As of writing this article, you’ll see that traveling to Kerala during Covid isn’t recommended (or traveling anywhere for that matter). But here are some precautions if you’re stepping out:

  • The Covid pandemic isn’t over yet. Remember to follow the social distancing norms always.
  • If you’re feeling sick before the trip, avoid going at all.
  • Those below 10 and above 65 years of age are at higher risk of contracting Covid. So it’s best that until the pandemic is under control, they don’t travel.
  • Pre-booking your accommodation is mandated by the Kerala Government and when you do so, make sure that they’re Covid-ready.
  • As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions.
  • Don’t travel in large groups, particularly with unfamiliar people.
  • Covid restrictions and regulations keep changing. You need to keep yourself updated with the latest rules of Kerala and that of your home state.
  • Get a Covid test done from an ICMR approved test facility and carry that certificate with you.
  • Whether mandatory or not, install the Aarogya Setu app on your phone.
  • If you develop symptoms during or after the trip, inform your accommodation and seek help immediately.

FAQs

Is There Lockdown In Kerala?

As of 20 May 2021, Kerala is under lockdown with the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram, Ernakulam, and Thrissur under ‘triple lockdown’ until May 23 to curb the rising Covid cases.

What Is The Best Month To Visit Kerala?

Visiting Kerala in the winter months of November to February is most recommended as the weather is quite pleasant. The summers are swelteringly hot and the monsoons, while beautiful, can hamper your plans because of the heavy rains.

Which Is The Most Beautiful In Kerala?

Kerala hasn’t earned the title of ‘God’s Own Country’ by accident. It’ll be difficult to pinpoint one beautiful place here but here are some great places to visit:

Alappuzha: Also known as Alleppey, the many backwaters here make for a perfect romantic getaway on a houseboat.

Wayanad: If you’re someone who wants to be surrounded by verdant hills and thick forests, then the hill station of Wayanad is for you.

Marari: This beach may not be full of activities or as known as Kovalam, but is the perfect place to soak in the sun.

How Many Days Are Enough For Kerala?

You’ll have to keep aside at least 8-10 days to explore the major attractions of Kerala.

What Is Famous Food In Kerala?

Sadhya: This feast is served on a plantain leaf and comprises rice, sambar, erissery (pumpkin and lentil curry), pappadam, payasam, and a whole lot of other curries.

Appam And Stew: Appams are pancakes made out of fermented rice batter and are served hot with a vegetable stew made in coconut milk. It’s a staple for Syrio-Christian families in Kerala.

Porotta And Beef: Hot, thick porottas served with dry beef roast have become something of an iconic meal from Kerala.

What Is The Minimum Distance To Be Kept From Each Other To Avoid Covid-19?

WHO recommends keeping a distance of at least 1 meter from others and not visiting crowded places to avoid Covid-19.

Has Covid-19 Been Detected In Drinking Water Supplies?

There’s no evidence that Covid-19 is found or can spread via drinking water supplies.

What Precautions Can I Take To Avoid Contracting Covid-19?

Four simple precautions can greatly help in reducing the risk of getting Covid-19:

Wear A Mask: Covid spreads when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, releasing the virus particles in the air. Wearing a mask, especially the N95, can help in reducing the spread of the virus.

Wash Your Hands: Your hands touch a lot of surfaces, which may have the virus, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can lead you to get infected. To remedy that, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Maintain Safe Distance: Keeping at least 6-feet distance from others means you’re not in close contact with someone who may be infected. Combine social distancing with a mask, and you’re even safer!

Get Vaccinated: Vaccination drives have begun. So make sure that you register yourself for the shot on the Aarogya Setu app. Keep in mind that getting vaccinated doesn’t make you immune to the virus, it only makes you more resistant to it. So the other three precautions mentioned above still apply!

What Precautions Should Everyone Take In A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.

Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.

Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.

Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.

Are Small Gatherings Safe During Covid-19 Pandemic?

The rule of thumb with regard to Covid is that the more the people, the greater the risk of infection. But in any case, gatherings of any number involve a bit of risk during the Covid pandemic.

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    A Guide To Traveling To Kerala During Covid Traveling To Kerala During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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