Heading to Maharashtra? Govt announces new travel rules for 4 states

As part of their phase-wise opening after the coronavirus lockdown, the Maharashtra Government has issued new guidelines for passengers travelling to the state by air, train, or road from November 25, 2020.

These rules apply to inbound travellers from Delhi NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa. 

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In a new SOP (Statement of Purpose), these are the preventive measures that passengers have been asked to follow: 

Air travel: tightened rules, flyers charged for tests

  • All passengers taking domestic flights from the four stipulated states must carry a negative RT-PCR test report with them before boarding, and show it at the destination airport upon arrival. AAI officials will check the report before you are allowed to board the flight.
  • Your test’s sample collection must have been done within 72 hours of your landing in Maharashtra.
  • If the above two guidelines aren’t fulfilled, passengers must pay for and undergo the same test at their concerned destination airports. These airports will arrange for the testing centres and charge passengers directly.
  • Passengers can go home only after the test has been administered. Their contact information and address will be stored by the airport operator, in case a test report comes back positive. Such passengers will be contacted and treated as per existing protocols.
  • The area’s Municipal Commissioner will serve as Nodal Officer to oversee this process.

Railways: stations offer screenings, antigen tests

  • All passengers travelling on trains that have their origin or a halt/stop at stations in Delhi NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa must carry a negative RT-PCR test report before entering Maharashtra.
  • The sample for this test must have been collected within 96 hours of scheduled arrival in Maharashtra.
  • Those without the negative report will be screened for symptoms and their body temperature at alighting stations. Those without symptoms can then go home.
  • Those with symptoms will be separated and administered an antigen test. If testing negative, a passenger can go home.
  • Those found positive, or those who do not test at all, will be sent to a Covid Care Centre (CCC). Charges for further care at this centre must be borne by the passenger.
  • Municipal Commissioners or District Collectors shall act as Nodal Officers to ensure this process runs smoothly.

Travel by road: the symptomatic may turn back at state borders

  • District collectors of land border districts will make arrangements to test passengers from the four given states for symptoms and body temperature. 
  • Those without symptoms can enter Maharashtra, while those with symptoms will be allowed to turn back, go home, and recover.
  • Symptomatic passengers who wish to continue driving into Maharashtra will be segregated and administered an antigen test. If its result is negative, they may continue on their journey. 
  • Those who test positive or do not test at all will be sent to a Covid Care Centre (CCC), where they must bear the cost of further care. 

According to Maharashtra’s Press Information Bureau, the state currently has over 81,000 active cases of COVID-19, with a total case count of 17.8 lakhs. The new travel policies should help avoid the state’s infection positivity rate from spiking any further.

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