Quarantine, Covid test for those going to Konkan for Ganeshotsav: Maharashtra governmentUpdated: Aug 05, 2020 02:51 IST
Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced guidelines for people travelling to the Konkan region for Ganeshotsav later this month. Covid-19 testing has been made mandatory for those travelling after August 12, and people who reach their villages before August 12 will have to undergo a 10-day compulsory quarantine.
Lakhs of people annually travel from Mumbai, Thane, and Pune, to their home towns in Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, for the 10-day festival which falls on August 22 this year.
“Those who plan to travel to Konkan before August 12 will have to remain home-quarantined for 10 days. The quarantine period has been reduced from 14 days to 10 as per the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the state health department,” said state transport minister Anil Parab.
The minister said that people who travel to Konkan after August 12, will have to get reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests 48 hours prior to entering the districts. “Only those who are found negative in the swab test 48 hours before arrival will be allowed to enter the districts,” the minister said.
Parab added that people who plan to travel to Konkan via private vehicles will require e-passes from the local police authorities. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has also started accepting group and individual bookings. “Only 22 passengers will be allowed on a bus, keeping social distancing in mind. Those who wish to make group bookings can get it through our portal. This year, we have also increased the number of buses from 2,200 to 3,000,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, local administrations in the three districts are gearing up to tackle the influx of visitors. District authorities will set up checkpoints to check travellers’ test reports and screen them for any Covid-19 symptoms.
Chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray has already directed district authorities to form vigilance squads in each village, to keep an eye on people and see that social distancing and other safety measures are followed. The CM has also asked locals to keep the festivities low-key this year.