New Delhi, June 25: The Centre has informed the Kerala government that state-specific protocols regarding expats wanting to return to India can not be implemented, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan said on Thursday. Speaking to media, V Muraleedharan further said the Kerala government's guidelines are "impractical" for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to implement. Kerala Reports Highest Single-Day Spike of 152 COVID-19 Cases, 90 Percent Cases Are Those Returned From Outside The State, Says CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

On Wednesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that the returning diaspora must wear PPE kit, mask, face shields and undergo a test on arrival at airports. Reacting to Vijayan's statement, Muraleedharan said: "Kerala government has issued some special guidelines for the expatriates who want to return to Kerala from Gulf countries. Regarding this, MEA has informed the government that state-specific protocols can not be implemented."

"We will be observing standard operating protocols (SOPs) issued by Home and Health Ministries. The SOPs say that expatriates will have to follow the SOPs being implemented in those countries. Kerala government's guidelines are impractical for the MEA to implement," the MoS added. Vijayan had to change his stand a few times on for the Kerala diaspora returning from abroad. Kerala to Launch Psychosocial Project for Counselling Students, KK Shailaja Says Counselling to Be Done on Helpline Number 1056.

Vijayan first welcomed all those who wanted to return, then changed his stand by saying only those with a COVID-19 negative certificate would be allowed to fly back. The health certificates for returnees was earlier made mandatory from June 20, but later the date was postponed to June 25. Vijayan has now insisted that it would be the responsibility of the airlines to ensure that all arriving passengers wore PPE kits.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 25, 2020 06:05 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website