The Maharashtra government has further tightened coronavirus restrictions – Public and private transport now allowed only for essential services and emergencies and 14-day mandatory home quarantine has been suggested for people travelling inter-district. The new restrictions came into effect Thursday at around 8 pm and will remain in force until 7 am on May 1.
Are you allowed to use public transport?
Only government employees and medical personnel such as doctors, paramedics, lab technicians, and medical clinic staff will be allowed to travel by Mumbai local trains, metro, and monorail. Tickets or passes will be issued to them based on identity cards issued by the government and medical organisations concerned, respectively.
Common people can no longer use local trains, metro, and monorail transport services unless there is a medical emergency. Specially abled persons with one attendant are also allowed.
People working at shops, homes, or in private offices cannot use those services to get to their places of work. However, they can use state government or local government-owned public buses. There are no restrictions on who can travel in public transport buses, except that they will operate at only 50 per cent of their standing capacity. They cannot have standing passengers.
What about inter-district and inter-city travel?
Anyone wishing to move across district borders in the state, or from one city to another within Maharashtra, can do so by long-distance trains and state-run buses which will continue to operate.
As per the order, the local railway officers / Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) officers shall provide all information to the local disaster management authority, which screens passengers at the alighting point.
There, they will need to undergo 14 days of home quarantine. Their hands will be stamped. If anyone shows symptoms during thermal screening, they will be removed to a corona care centre or hospital depending on the severity of their symptoms.
What about private transport?
Private passenger transport such as taxis and autorickshaws are permitted to run only for emergency or essential services or valid reasons with the driver plus 50 per cent of the seating capacity.
“These are not expected to be inter-district or inter-city and should be confined to the city of residence of the travellers. Inter-district or inter-city travel by private transport is allowed only if required for performing an essential service or in case of medical emergencies or attending unavoidable events like funerals or severe sickness of family,” stated the order.
What are the other new restrictions?
As per the order, all government offices such as central, state, and local authority can operate only with 15 per cent attendance except for emergency services directly connected to the management of covid pandemic. In the case of Mantralaya, the state secretariat, and central government office in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the head of the department can decide on higher attendance after seeking permission from the CEO of the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority.
For all other offices of essential services, they should work with at lowest required capacity and in no case exceed 50 per cent.
For the offices such as PSU and private banks, offices of companies providing essential services, insurance/medical companies, pharmaceutical company offices, RBI regulated entities, and intermediaries with others should function only with 15 per cent of the total attendance or 5 people whichever is more, it added.
What about marriages?
For marriage ceremonies, the government has said that it may be conducted only as a single event in a single hall not extending beyond 2 hours with a maximum of total of 25 persons attending the same. “With restrictions of 25 people, there were instances of people being invited in different batches throughout the day. So we have restricted it to 2 hours and with a total of 25 people attendance for it,” said an official.
What about shopping?
Groceries are allowed to open for four hours only in the morning, from 7 am to 11 pm. Home deliveries from grocery shops and restaurants are allowed until 8 pm. Chemists shops are open until 8 pm. No other shops are allowed to remain open. Malls are shut. If any essential shops are located in malls, only those can open for the permitted four hours in the morning.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine