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Explained: Latest Covid-19 guidelines for those travelling to Maharashtra

What are the rules for road, rail and air travel, and what happens if a passenger does not have the test reports? All your questions answered.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai | November 24, 2020 8:35:54 pm
Maharashtra travel rules, Maharashtra lockdown, Maharashtra Covid news, Maharashtra Covid travel rules, Travelling to Maharashtra, Mumbai travel rules, Mumbai covid guidelines, Indian ExpressDoor-to-door screening of residents in the Kalyan-Dombivali municipal area on November 22, 2020. (Express Photo: Deepak Joshi)

The Maharashtra government on November 23 announced new travel rules for the state, under which those coming from Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa will need to carry RT-PCR test reports for Covid-19. The rules come into effect from November 25.

What are the rules for road, rail and air travel, and what happens if a passenger does not have the test reports? All your questions answered.

What are the rules for flyers?

The new travel guidelines said that all domestic passengers travelling from airports in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry an RT-PCR negative test report and are required to show it on arrival at the airport. The test should have been conducted three days (72 hours) before their arrival in Maharashtra.

What if a passenger could not get an RT-PCR test done prior to departure?

Passengers arriving without a Covid negative test report will have to compulsorily undergo the RT-PCR test at the airport at their own cost. The passengers will be allowed to go home only after undertaking the test. The airport will arrange the testing centres and charge the passengers directly for testing.

They will be contacted if their test turns up positive and will be treated either in home-isolation or institutional quarantine facilities. For the other passengers on the flight, the government will follow the set protocol, officials said.

Also in Explained | Five reasons the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is better news than the Pfizer and Moderna shots

What is the facility at airports?

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj international airport has RT-PCR testing kiosks. The price for the coronavirus test is fixed at Rs 1,400.

What are the rules for Railway passengers?

Passengers coming to Maharashtra on trains originating from or halting at stations in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa are required to carry RT-PCR negative test reports. Train passengers are required to have undergone the test four days before arrival.

Passengers without the RT-PCR test negative report would be screened for symptoms and body temperature at the alighting railway stations. Passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home but those who show symptoms will be made to undergo antigen test. They will be allowed to go home if their antigen test comes negative. Antigen tests take 30 minutes to generate the result.

Rules for people entering the state by road

The district collectors of land borders have been given responsibilities to make arrangements for antigen tests and screening of passengers entering the state by road. Passengers with symptoms will be segregated and made to undergo antigen tests. Those testing negative will be allowed to travel further into the state. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram

Is there any exemption?

The rule states no exemption for passengers arriving in the state by road, air or train. If a passenger entering the state by road tests positive, they will be sent to Covid Care Centres. Those who do not want to take the test have the option of turning back or be sent to Covid Care Centres.

Why was the rule introduced?

While fresh cases continue to decline or remain stagnant in the worst-affected states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have been seeing a significant rise in active cases.  The biggest rise in active cases in the last two weeks has come in Rajasthan – an increase of more than 5,600 — followed by Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

On Monday, Maharashtra recorded 4,152 new cases, of them, 800 were from Mumbai. There are 81,902 actively infected Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra. Officials are fearful that with the unregulated movement of people post-Diwali, there could be a spike in cases.

Is the Maharashtra government planning to halt flights and trains from Delhi?

Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar on Friday had stated that the state was considering stopping flights and trains between Delhi and Mumbai and other parts of the state. Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar on Monday said that if needed, in the next eight days, after careful study of the number of cases, they will decide whether there is a need for a complete lockdown or imposition of some curbs or adding new conditions.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar hinted at the possibility of putting in place curbs over the movement of people in view of the threat of a second wave of coronavirus cases post-Diwali.

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