Update: New requirements effective December 1, 2021, here.
When it comes to fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra has a no-nonsense approach usually. As news of Omicron surfaces, the Government of India has mandated mandatory testing for those arriving from Europe, parts of Africa and so on. However, Maharashtra has notified a stricter rule, which requires people to undergo institutional/home quarantine if they arrive at Mumbai Airport. However, the rules have also changed for domestic arrivals here on.
Maharashtra had done away with the requirement for an RT-PCR negative report for those fully vaccinated and arriving in the state a few months ago. In the wake of Omicron, this has changed.
Maharashtra re-institutes RT-PCR negative report requirement.
Arrivals into Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Shirdi and other Maharashtrian airports from airports outside of Maharashtra will compulsorily require a T-48 hours RT-PCR negative report in the future. Hidden in the order for international arrivals, right at the end is a requirement for domestic travellers is this:
- In the case of domestic air travel, passengers travelling within the State will either have to be fully vaccinated or compulsorily carry an RTPCR test within 48 hours of the time of arrival.
- In the case of passengers from other States, a negative RTPCR test within 48 hours of arrival will be compulsory without exceptions.
What this means is, if you are flying between Nagpur and Mumbai, for instance, you can use your vaccination certificate to travel without an RT-PCR result. However, suppose you are a fully-vaccinated traveller, for example, from Delhi heading into Mumbai for a meeting. In that case, you now need an RT-PCR test result before you arrive in the city, even if you are fully vaccinated. You can read the excerpt of the order here. Take note that your test needs to be shown before departure, and only in exceptional circumstances will an on-arrival test be allowed.
However, it seems this regulation is yet not in force, as is expected on requirements changing overnight. As per a tweet from the CEO of Razorpay.
Landed 30 mins back, no check for rt pcr if you have vaccination certificate. The order said immediate effect but not sure if it is incorrect or not yet applicable.
— Harshil Mathur (@harshilmathur) December 1, 2021
As per a new order from the MCGM, Mumbai’s Municipality, the implementation of this rule is now set at after 11:59 pm on December 2, 2021.
With respect to transit flights, here is what I was told by CSMIA, via their spokesperson:
- For T1/T1 connections or T2/T2 connections, as per current GoM guidelines, pax will require RT-PCR to be done within 72 hrs of arrival in Maharashtra.
- For T1/T2 connections or T2/T1 connections, same guideline applies.
Suppose you are planning to fly domestically into any airport in Maharashtra. In that case, you will need to present an RT-PCR report which is less than 48 hours old for your arrival, even if you are fully vaccinated. The only exception is in the case of intra-Maharashtra flights where your vaccine certificate will be enough to get you onboard a plane.
What do you make of the new requirements for domestic travel into Maharashtra from now on?
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