Covid-19: Fully vaccinated flyers to Maharashtra no longer need negative RT-PCR report

The decision to lift the restrictions follows similar moves by Punjab, Rajasthan, and Odisha. (Picture courtesy: IE)

Flyers to Maharashtra will no longer require a negative RT-PCR test report at the airport, provided they have completed both doses of the vaccine, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation announced today. However, the passengers will need to carry documentary evidence of both vaccination doses while travelling to the state.

Maharashtra bore the brunt of Covid-19 infections during both the first and second wave of the pandemic, reporting record cases in the country. However, the situation has now improved enough for the state to lift the mandatory negative test requirement for flyers. The state government had initially imposed restrictions on domestic passengers on May 12, making negative RT-PCR test, conducted no more than 48 hours before travel, mandatory for travellers arriving by road, rail, and air.

These restrictions were issued primarily for passengers from Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Rajasthan, and Goa — the states that also recorded significantly high levels of infections during the second wave. However, the rules were later implemented for passengers arriving from all over the country. The decision to lift the restrictions follows similar moves by Punjab, Rajasthan, and Odisha.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said passengers who have taken both doses of the vaccine would be allowed to land at any of the state’s airports without needing a negative RT-PCR test. However, they should carry proof of taking both vaccine doses. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had on Tuesday written to the state government, urging it to lift the mandatory rule of showing a negative RT-PCR report for fully vaccinated travellers to Mumbai.

While the Covid-19 situation has improved in Maharashtra, with the active caseload dropping significantly, it is still not out of the woods. On Wednesday, the Sangli district announced a six-day lockdown amid a sudden spurt in the active caseload, registering between 1,000 and 2,000 fresh cases a day.

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