Maharashtra: RT-PCR test exemption only for travellers with 15-day gap from second dose

Rule applies to all passengers and commuters entering the state by flights, vehicles, trains and ships

Maharashtra government’s exemption for all those who have taken both doses of Covid-19 vaccine from compulsorily carrying negative RT-PCR test reports to enter the state comes with a caveat – there has to be a gap of at least 15 days between the second dose and the date of arrival.

According to a circular issued by Chief Secretary S J Kunte on Thursday, without the 15-day gap, arriving passengers would still need to carry a negative RT-PCR test report.

The circular applies to all passengers and commuters entering the state by flights, vehicles, trains and ships, said officials. The state, meanwhile, increased the time interval concerning valid RT-PCR test reports to 72 hours. Until now, a negative RT-PCR test report, obtained 48 hours in advance, was mandatory for all travellers.

The government also advised people to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, like maintaining social distance and using sanitisers and masks.

The Maharashtra government had on Wednesday allowed domestic fliers who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to enter the state without a negative RT-PCR report. Such passengers, however, will have to carry vaccination certificates for both the doses, state Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Public Health) Pradeep Vyas had proposed to the relief and rehabilitation department that fully vaccinated flyers be exempted from undergoing RT-PCR tests while entering Maharashtra.

The relief and rehabilitation secretary approved this and the proposal was cleared by Kunte on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the BMC had requested the state government to exempt all fully vaccinated domestic passengers arriving at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport from carrying RT-PCR test reports.

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