Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday urged the Central government to resume flight services to Dubai after the gulf nation allowed its residents stuck abroad due to COVID-19 lockdown, to return to the emirate from June 22.

“Many from Kerala are waiting to get back to work in Dubai and other Gulf regions. Considering this, a direction may be issued to the Civil Aviation Ministry to resume the flight services to Dubai,” Vijayan said in an e-mail to PM Modi, reports PTI.

The CM also apprised the Prime Minister of the state’s willingness to conduct Polymerase chain reaction tests for the passengers on request.

Dubai has granted permission to foreign nationals holding residency visas to return to the country from June 22 while the city will conditionally open its doors for tourists from July 7.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and Muslim League leader M K Muneer have jointly written a letter to the PM asking him to take steps to bring back expats who wish to return to state within 30 days using Air India fligts, chartered flights and ships.

The leaders have also sent a letter to the Chief Minister asking him to withdraw the decision on making it mandatory the “no-COVID” certificate for expats to board the flight to the state. The United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders, in their letter to the Prime Minister, also sought financial aid to the families who lost their dear ones abroad to COVID-19 pandemic.

Following a surge in infections from unknown sources Kerala, which had flattened the COVID-19 curve, is now preparing to tackle community transmission. The state government on Monday announced strict restrictions on shopping and travel. It also decided to punish those violating quarantine norms, especially in capital  Thiruvananthapuram, which saw a spike in cases. Kannur town, which has the most number of cases, was placed under lockdown two days ago.

According to ministry of health Kerala has reported 3,310 cases of virus while the death toll has reached 21 till Tuesday.