India is in the midst of its ambitious vaccination programme even as the threat of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic looms large. The second wave that peaked in the month of April this year brought back lockdowns and restrictions on travel in most states. In Maharashtra, the curbs are slowly being lifted and travel both within and to the state is being eased.
On 1 August, the Government of Maharashtra issued a circular with modified guidelines from the five-level unlock plan that came into effect on August 3rd, thereby easing curbs in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Thane. These guidelines are applicable in 22 of the 36 districts in the state.
Restrictions from the last 'Break the Chain' guidelines, issued of June 4, 2021, continue for the districts of Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Beed, Raigad and Palghar.
Can You Travel To Maharashtra?
There has been no change in travel guidelines since the last announcement made on July 15th. The new guidelines don't change anything. As per the press release issued by the Government of Maharashtra earlier, all domestic and international passengers need to produce a negative COVID- 19 RT-PCR test report issued no more than 72 hours before arrival. This marked a slight increase from the earlier stipulated interval of 48 hours.
As per the same announcement, travellers who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are exempted and can produce a certificate of final vaccination. However, the second dose needs to have been administered at least 15 days before the date of travel.
Most airlines mandate carrying negative RT-PCR reports to allow boarding. Those not in possession of the reports can opt to take a COVID-19 test (RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test) on arrival.
The rules are applicable for all modes of transport: by air, road, and train.
Can You Travel Within Maharashtra?
There is no restriction on travel in Maharashtra within cities or between districts. However, non-essential remains restricted between 9 pm and 5 am on all days. In districts designated as Level 3 (with an increased number of COVID-19 cases), guidelines issued on June 4th remain applicable, restricting travel on weekends, too.
Can you travel via public transport?
Yes, travel by bus is permitted across the state but no standing is allowed in areas designated as Level 3 districts (the 14 that don't fall under the unlock guidelines applicable from August 3).
At the moment, travel by local trains is restricted to essential services only. On August 2nd, Monday, the Bombay High Court urged the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) to allow those fully vaccinated to travel by local train, in response to a PIL to allow travel on trains for lawyers.
However, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a press conference in Sangli on August 2, said that local trains will not open for the general commuter due to the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic.
Can you visit restaurants in Maharashtra?
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has permitted essential and non-essential shops to remain open till 10 pm on all days. It has though clarified that malls will continue to remain shut. Hotels and restaurants are allowed to operate till 4 pm. Cinemas, schools, and drama theatres will remain shut.
What do you need to know about travel in Maharashtra?
To Maharashtra: Carry a negative RT-PCR report issued 72 hours before arrival or less. If you are fully vaccinated, at least 15 days before the date of travel, carry your final vaccination certificate.
Within Maharashtra: Travel between districts is unrestricted.
Public transport: Travel is restricted between 9 pm and 5 am except for essential services. No standing in buses is allowed in Level 3 areas. No local trains yet.
Updated On: 2021-08-12T11:19:09+05:30