Maharashtra: Tighter curbs on movement, quarantine for inter-district travel

Maharashtra: Tighter curbs on movement, quarantine for inter-district travel

Maharashtra: Tighter curbs on movement, quarantine for inter-district travel

The state government reacted on Wednesday to the continuing surge in Covid-19 cases with additional restrictions on travel within the state and the city, and a further reduction in attendance in government offices and such private offices that fall under the essential or exempted category. These curbs will kick in at 8pm Thursday and be in force till 7am on May 1.

Metro, mono and local train travel will be restricted to government employees, medical personnel, and persons who are specially-abled or in need of medical treatment.

Attendance at all government offices, except those involved in Covid-19 management, has been reduced from 50% to 15%. Establishments allowed to function under the essential services category, like pet shops, data centres, cargo offices and petrol pumps, should work at 50% capacity.

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Exempted establishments like banks, insurance offices and advocates’ offices shall function at 15% of their workforce or five persons, whichever is more. Domestic help may continue to work as they do now. Public and private buses will continue to ply, but with 50% capacity. Stringent rules have been imposed on inter-city and even inter-district travel.

Private vehicles will be allowed at 50% capacity within the city in case of emergency or for essential services. Inter-city or inter-district travel is allowed only for essential services, medical emergencies or attending events like a funeral. Violation of these rules will attract a penalty of Rs 10,000.

Conditions have been laid down for inter-district and inter-city travel in private buses as well as long distance trains and public transport buses. The private bus operator should limit stops to a maximum of two in a city and the schedule should be made available to the local disaster management authority.

All passengers alighting from trains, public buses and private buses should be stamped for 14-day home quarantine by the operator or local body staff. Local authorities may conduct antigen tests of passengers and may ask the passenger to foot the bill.

Depending on local conditions, the state has given local bodies the freedom to decide on doing away with the home quarantine stamping rule for passengers arriving from certain origins. “The idea is to deter people from stepping out and travelling unnecessarily. We have not shut down private and public transport completely to avoid panic,” an official said.

Weddings have been restricted to just one ceremony to be completed within two hours at a hall with not more than 25 people in attendance. The penalty for violations has been increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.

All ground-level staff engaged in delivery of essential items should be minimised, but may continue at 100% capacity if required. These new rules came a day after the cabinet had demanded a strict lockdown in the state to control the Covid-19 cases.