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5 questions on inter-state and intra-state travel during COVID-19 unlock 3.0

August 06 2020
5 questions on inter-state and intra-state travel during COVID-19 unlock 3.0
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As unlock 3.0 unfurls in India, you might want to be sure about what’s allowed and not allowed for interstate and intrastate travel. Can you take your car out and drive down to the other end of the city? Can you cross the state borders without an e-pass? Will you be quarantined if you travel to other states? Is a negative report for COVID-19 test mandatory for travel? And, what about travel restrictions in containment zones? We know, we know! There are just too many questions running in your head right now regarding the travel restrictions. But you can relax now because here we are to help you find the answers to them. No more getting confused or feeling stressed before you step out of the house to travel. Catch the answers you are seeking about the new travel guidelines as you read further.

Am I allowed to travel from one state to the other? Will I need an e-pass?

The Ministry of Home Affairs has lifted the lockdown restrictions on travelling by road from one state to the other. This means, you don’t need an e-pass anymore for moving from one state to the other, even if it is not for essential services. Movement of non-essential goods is also permitted. You can move to another state in your private car or a cab. The MHA has also permitted some domestic flights and trains to run in the country.

However, some states have extended the lockdown and continue to have stringent travel restrictions. So if you are travelling to any of these states, you will be required to follow some strict travel guidelines.

Which states continue to have strict travel restrictions? And, which ones need an e-pass?

You will have to be quarantined for 14 days if you are travelling to states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Quarantine is mandatory even in Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra and West Bengal states but only if you have symptoms or are travelling from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Telangana.

E-pass is mandatory when you enter Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. The state of Andhra Pradesh needs you to register on the state website instead of having to apply for an e-pass. If you have been tested negative for ICMR-approved COVID-19 test, then you don’t have to be quarantined in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Do note that a swab test is compulsory even for shorter business trips of less than a week if you are travelling to Karnataka.

14 days quarantine
on arrival
Mandatory to have
an E-pass
Mandatory to have negative test report for COVID-19
Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu Karnataka
Tamil Nadu West Bengal Tamil Nadu
Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh- Only registration is needed
West Bengal
Delhi-NCR

Also read: Life After Lockdown: 7 Mistakes You Should Avoid To Stay Safe From COVID-19

Is intrastate travel allowed in unlock 3.0?

Yes, intrastate travel restrictions have been eased out across India, except for containment zones. You can move around in your state in your private car or in an auto-rickshaw or a cab provided you don’t belong to a containment zone. The MHA has also permitted the movement of non-essential goods inside the state borders.

Which travel restrictions are applicable in unlock 3.0 if I am from a containment zone?

The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the state governments to strictly adhere to travel restrictions that were imposed earlier in the containment zones. A permit will be required from your state government’s website if you wish to move in and out of a containment zone. The MHA has also asked the state governments to ensure all the social distancing norms are stringently followed in the containment zones and that only essential activities are allowed.

Also read: Covid-19 is Going to Change Travel- Here’s How

Are there any other travel rules that I need to keep in mind as per unlock 3.0? What else is allowed and not allowed?

In terms of the number of people who can travel in a car, 3 are allowed in a hatchback and 4 in an SUV. Pillion riders are not allowed on bikes and scooters. While travelling, you need to make sure everyone is wearing a mask. Also, keep a bottle of sanitizer handy, and apply it after you get in and step out of your car.

You are now allowed to move around during the night time as the night curfew has been lifted. You can also celebrate Independence Day by following social distancing norms. You can resume your yoga sessions at the yoga institute or hit the gym as they are now open. Malls have been given a green signal to open. Limited international flights have been allowed under the Vande Bharat mission. India is also working on its travel bubbles strategy.

The unlock 3.0 still doesn’t allow resuming the metro rail and railways for everyone. It still isn’t the time to be able to go for movies, have your favourite meals at the food courts or visit entertainment parks. Swimming pools continue to remain closed. Social gatherings or large scale political meet-ups, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural or religious events involving people coming together in large numbers is not yet allowed.

It has been advised for those above 65 years of age or having co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age to not step out unless it is indispensable or for health reasons.

Unlock 3.0 only means that the travel restrictions have been lifted. The traffic rules are not going anywhere! So, it’s a good idea as always to ensure you have car insurance or two wheeler insurance policy before you take your vehicle anywhere. Do carry your helmet if you are going to be riding your two wheeler. Also, don’t forget to carry the most important document, your driving license. Ensure all your car papers are in place and renew your car insurance policy in time if it is about to expire.

Since these times are dynamic, it is advisable to double-check the guidelines of the state or city you are planning to travel to before you commence the trip.

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