New Maharashtra government guidelines for inter-state travel make RT-PCR test necessary for arriving from Goa, Rajasthan, Delhi and Gujarat

Last weekend I wrote about Maharashtra considering a move to ban travel from Delhi to Mumbai temporarily, given the huge rise in cases of CoVid-19 in Delhi. However, it seems that this was seen as a very extreme move, and Maharashtra did not go through with. However, Maharashtra has now put together a new set of guidelines, which mandate that anyone travelling into Maharashtra from Delhi, Goa, Gujarat and Rajasthan needs to be evaluated for CoVid-19 before arrival inside the state. The new Maharashtra Government guidelines for inter-state travel goes into effect from November 25, 2020.

maharashtra government guidelines for inter-state travel

Here is what the Maharashtra Government guidelines for inter-state travel read:

Domestic Air Travel

  1. All domestic passengers travelling from airports in Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Goa shall carry RT-PCR negative test report with them before boarding and show it to the teams at the arrival airport. The Airports Authority of India is requested to check for the report before allowing the passengers to board the flight.
  2. The RT-PCR sample collection should have been done within 72 hours of the scheduled time of landing at Airports in Maharashtra.
  3. Passengers not having the RT-PCR test reports fulfilling conditions above in 1 and 2, shall compulsorily undergo RT-PCR test at the concerned airports, at their own cost. The Airport shall ring the testing centres and charge the passengers directly for testing.
  4. Only after undertaking the test, the passengers will be allowed to go home by Airport Operator. The Contact information and address shall be collected from all passengers who undergo tests at the airport by Airport operator to facilitate contact, in case the test report comes positive.
  5. Passengers whose report comes positive will be contacted and treated as per the existing protocol.
  6. The concerned Municipal Commissioners will be the Nodal Officers for the same and ensure that the above instructions are followed strictly.

Railways

  1. All passengers travelling to Maharashtra by trains originating or having halt/stop at stations in Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Goa shall carry with them RT-PCR negative test report before they decide to enter Maharashtra.
  2. The RT-PCR sample collection should have been done within 96 hours before the scheduled arrival in Maharashtra.
  3. Passengers not having the RT-PCR test negative report shall be screened for symptoms and body temperature at the railway stations.
  4. The passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home.
  5. Passengers who display symptoms shall be segregated and made to undergo Antigen test. If the Antigen test comes negative, the passengers will be allowed to go home.
  6. Passengers found COVID-19 positive, shall be sent to COVID Care Centre (CCC) for further care. The cost of further care, including CCC, shall be borne by the passenger themselves.
  7. The concerned Municipal Commissioners/District Collectors will be the Nodal Officers for the same and ensure that the above instructions are followed strictly.

Road Travel

  1. The concerned District Collectors of land border districts shall make arrangements to ensure that the passengers coming from the NCR of Delhi, States of Rajasthan Gujarat and Goa shall be tested for symptoms including body temperature.
  2. The passengers without symptoms will be allowed entry: Passengers with symptoms shall have the option of turning back and go to their home to recuperate.
  3. Passengers who display symptoms shall be segregated and made to undergo Antigen Test. If the Antigen test comes negative, the passengers will be allowed to travel further into Maharashtra.
  4. Passengers not testing/found COVID-19 positive shall be sent to COVID Care Centre (CCC) for further care. The cost of further care, including CCC, shall be borne by the passenger.

You can download a copy of the notification here.

While I get the sensitivity here, I think there could have been a better job done fleshing this out. First and foremost, as the country’s busiest hub airport, Delhi feeds a lot of traffic into Mumbai. This has not been factored into the notification. What they are implying is, get an all-clear report before you get on the plane, even if you got inside the country literally 5 hours prior and flew all the way from the USA and had the all-clear to not quarantine on arrival in India. Secondly, this will mean those who take connecting flights domestically via Delhi (already booked), are also on the hook because they touched the wrong Airport. This would be a huge bother for Vistara, Air India, IndiGo, and so on, all sorts of airlines.

This also takes away any potential of a same-day return business travel unless airlines are entitled to let customers board and they get tested in Mumbai on arrival.

Bottomline

Maharashtra’s Government has mandated that before you land in Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune or one of the other airports in Maharashtra, you will need to be tested for CoVid-19 and have a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours before arriving in Maharashtra.  Road and Rail travel have similar notifications.

What do you make of the new Maharashtra Government guidelines for inter-state travel?


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Comments

  1. Hello, please assist me on below,

    I am planning to travel back to Pune from Uttarakhand on Feb end of 2021.

    I will go to Delhi airport by Road and then have flight from Delhi to pune, so do I need to go for RT/PCR test and carry report. Please suggest

  2. I’m going to Delhi on Date 23Jan2021 from Nagpur & will returns on 24Jan2021 what’s the required documents will necessary for us(me &my family members-wife & son) in this situation “covid19india “

  3. i will be travelling from GOI-Mumbai- AUH, with my 6 year old son, are children below 12 years also required to have the negative PCR test on arrival to Mumbai

  4. Hi

    I am traveling from dubai to mumbai with my 2.5 years kid, do my kid also need pcr certificate, please provide information about not found this info anywhere,

  5. I have flight from ahmedabad to goa
    And its layover for 90 min in mumbai
    So i need RT-PCR certificate
    Its connecting flight

  6. I am native from uttrakhand but i need to travel to pune so i have to take flight from delhi . Do i still need the RT-PCR report?

  7. Instead of RT-PCR test, it is acceptable to Antigen Rapid Test on same day while journey from Gujarat to Maharashtra via Railway??

  8. Sir i am defence person. I am travelling from jammu by train to delhi and delhi to nagpur by flight. So want RTPCR negative report. Its emmergency travelling. Give reply sir. I have defece Doctor certificate.

  9. I m travelling fm Jammu to Pune by connecting flight at Delhi. Is it required to have RT PCR negative report with me to travel

  10. Hi Ajay,

    If a person needs to travel from Banglore to Nagpur non stop flight then also needs to do the test???

    Your reply is highly appreciated.

  11. Hi
    I am traveling with my spouse and 2 years child from UK to Delhi and after 4.5 hrs layoff have connecting flight to Pune. Do we need to do RT-PCR test for all of us or is there any exemption.
    Thanks

  12. Hi Im reaching delhi from pune on 10.30 am and next day i have booked flight from delhi to nagpur do i have to take RT PCR betweeen. And how to take it.

  13. 1) Do you need to get the RT-PCR test if ONLY TAKING A CONNECTION flight in Mumbai? I am flying from Goa to London with a connection in Mumbai and wondering if the rules apply for people staying in the airport.

    2) If you take the test at Mumbai airport, is there any clarity on how much it costs?

    Any help appreciated

  14. I just took a flight from Delhi to Pune.

    1. I got the RT-PCR test done in Delhi day before yesterday and had a printed report with me.
    2. At check in Vistara agent just asked if I had a test report. They didn’t see it and said that you need to show on arrival.
    3. At Pune, after baggage claim, before terminal exit, everyone was being asked the origin of their flight.
    4. Based on your response, you were either allowed to go or asked for Covid test report. No documents or boarding passes were checked.
    5. When I said Delhi, I was asked for Covid test report, which I showed. The agent just took a glance and let me exit.
    6. People with no Covid report were asked to stand on the side and a display said that testing and holding facility is available. No idea about the process though.

  15. Like I m going to meet a relative in Surat, will come back the same day n will travel by road still I Need to get a test done before entering Maharashtra?

  16. Nagpur to Hyderabad by road road jana hai tu RT PCR test karwana anivarya hai kya aur aur Hyderabad to Nagpur by road aane per Maharashtra entry RT PCR test karvana anivarya hai kya mujhe jankari chahie

  17. What about people who have become negative after becoming covid positive initially and now have antigen in their body for next 2-3 months. Do they also need to show and get any test done? If yes,why?? Will their negative and positive reports be considered by Maharashtra/Airlines and accepted for travel?

    • Once recovered from Covid, you will have Covid ‘Antibodies’ and not ‘Antigens’. The RT-PCR/ Antigen test does not rest for active antibodies. It will be okay.

  18. “What they are implying is, get an all-clear report before you get on the plane, even if you got inside the country literally 5 hours prior and flew all the way from the USA and had the all-clear to not quarantine on arrival in India”

    International arrivals at all airports except Karnataka, Odisha & Kerala anyway need to have a RT-PCR negative report or get tested at airports like Delhi before proceeding home or to their onward domestic connection to avoid quarantine. Exceptions against quarantine is only for 5 categories.

  19. Ajay what about pax coming in connecting flights like, DEL-LKO/IDR-BOM & GOI-BLR-BOM and all? Will they also need COVID NEGATIVE CERTIFICATE

    • Much needed. The way other states have managed the situation is much worse than Maharashtra.
      If you want to come here get a test or bugger off.

      • Luckily the rest of the country didn’t behave the same way with Maharashtra when it accounted for 40% of India’s daily cases. And your claim to how Maharashtra has handled its situation is not only inaccurate but laughable.

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