Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has exempted central and state government ministers and officers on duty from requirements of quarantine on arrival in the state from other places.

Airlines crew who are on official duty and any person holding a negative COVID-19 test certificate need not undergo the mandatory seven days institutional quarantine stipulated in the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued on Friday for inter-state passengers coming from states with a high number of coronavirus cases.

These exemptions were allowed in an addendum to the SOP issued on Saturday by the department of health and family welfare services and made public on Monday.

"The ministers of Union Government or state governments or officers on their official duty who are travelling across states will be exempted from requirements of quarantine as has been done for health professionals and others," the addendum said.

"Any person who gets a negative Covid test certificate (from ICMR approved lab) which is not more than two days old from the date of journey will be exempted from the requirement of institutional quarantine," the addendum added.

The airlines crew who are on official duty will be exempted from the requirements of quarantine as has been done for certain categories, it added.

The addendum was made public hours after Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers DV Sadanada Gowda courted a controversy after he did not undergo quarantine on arrival from Delhi by a flight.

He defended his action, saying he came under the exempted category being in-charge of pharmaceuticals, an essential sector.

The state government's SOP had said returnees from six states with high COVID-19 caseload -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh -- coming via road, rail and air will be kept in institutional quarantine for seven days.

After the returnees test negative for the disease in pool testing, they will be sent for home quarantine for another seven days, it has said.

Returnees from other low prevalence states will be asked to follow 14 days of home quarantine.

In special cases like businessmen coming for urgent work, the quarantine period will be waived if they furnish a report from an ICMR-approved laboratory showing they tested negative for COVID-19 and should not be more than two days old from the date of travel.