In an order issued on Wednesday night, the Maharashtra government announced the imposition of stricter restrictions to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These norms kicked in from 8 pm today and will be in effect till 7 am on May 1.
As per a notification, government offices will now function with 15% staff capacity as compared to 50% allowed earlier. Like earlier, exemptions are allowed for those directly linked to COVID-19 pandemic mitigation efforts. Moreover, marriage ceremonies are allowed only for a period of two hours with a maximum of 25 people attending it.
Meanwhile, to further clarify the restrictions, the Maharashtra government has released a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
1. Can Doctors and Medical Personnel travel across Districts without any restrictions?
Yes. Doctors and medical personnel can travel across districts using personal/ private/ public transport on the basis of an identity card issued to them by the competent authorities/ their establishments. It is expected that reason for travel is medical and health related.
2. Which category of people will be allowed to use local trains?
Only Government personnel and Health Workers will be allowed the use of local trains. No one else even notified as essential services or under exemptions as per the Government orders will be allowed to use loc,l trains. Government includes local governments like MCGM, TMC and other corporations, Zilla Parishad and government authorities and statutory commissions, agencies.
3. Can Export Oriented units function?
Export oriented units will be allowed to function only to the extent of fulfilling current export commitments and exporting already finished goods. Transport of the goods are also exempted. However manufacturing of the goods for export will be allowed only if it falls in the exemption category for manufacturing in the order dated 13/4/2021.
4. Do all banks need to function at 15% attendance?
Yes. Banks fall under Exemption category in Section 5 of the State Government Order dated 13th April, 2021. Hence all banks to function as per 15% capacity only ( or 5 whichever is more).
5. Who can avail services of taxi/rickshaw services?
a. People belonging to essential/ exemption categories as per Government Order dated 131h April, 2021 and further clarifications/ additions thereof.
b. For Medical Emergencies.
c. For valid reasons as per the order dated 13/4/2021 - like exams, travel to and from airports/ long distance trains/ buses stops.
6. Is inter-district travel permitted?
Inter District travel by private cars or vehicles other than buses and long distance trains is permitted but only for extremely essential reasons. This may include medical emergency, death in family etc. People may take up long distance trains and buses but shall be subject to home quarantine and other measures mentioned in the order.
7. Visitors in Government Offices
Not allowed. It is clarified however that for registration purposes, citizens may be allowed to come to registrar offices with prior appointment, and even these offices shall work with 15% attendance unless applied to and approved by DMA.
8. Schools/ Colleges/ Universities
Schools/ Colleges/ Universities have been closed. However, if so needed by the administration of concerned schools/ colleges/ uniersities, teaching and non-teaching staff may come to the campus with a restriction of 15% attendance ( or 5 whichever is more).
9. Who requires to mandatorily undergo RTPCR/RAT/Tru Nat test?
RTPCR/ Tru Nat/ RAT test is compulsory for staff who are involved in the process of examinations i.e supervisors, invilgators etc and for staff of halls where weddings are conducted including caterer, waiters etc These are no longer required for home delivery personnel though it is advised. Also, it is not required for anyone unless specifically mandated in order dated 13/4/2021.
10. Whether home delivery is by e-commerce personnel only or by anyone else?
Home delivery is allowed by anyone authorized by the establishment that is allowed to serve customers through home delivery. These may nor may not belong to a e-commerce company. However they must always be able to prove whom they are delivering for.
11. If a person is travelling without a valid reason ( death, medical emergency) is subjected for fine. Which authority to impose the fine? If he/ she is unable to pay fine what will be next course of action (whether vehicle will be confiscated or not)
Local DMA, Incidence commanders and anyone authorised by these are also authorised to collect fine. If someone is unable to pay the fine, then the process as mentioned in motor vehicle act or any other act (like BPA) should be followed.
12. Regarding inter-district travel there is no mention of any proof which police should check to let that person move out of the district
Reasons that are acceptable for travel have been mentioned. There is no pass system established for now. Reasonable proofs should be accepted. We may even err on the side of trusting the person travelling ifthere explanation is found reasonable. It's left to the judgement of implementation agency.
13. Home quarantine/ micro containment zones enforcement is not explicit - could it be clarified.
Micro Containment Zones guidelines speak of all that is needed to be ensured. Local OMA may decide further steps that are needed to implement these. If any order of SOMA is silent about any issue, local OMA has authority to fill in as per local conditions. Changing any of the explicitly mentioned guidelines shall required prior consent of SOMA.
14. As per order of 20/04/21 home delivery is restricted upto 8 PM. Does this apply to Zomato and Swiggy as well?
Order allows local DMA to extend these timings. There should not be any order only for specific ecommerce organizations. Same timings shall apply to all the establishments that are offering same service.
15. Any orders for work from home for government staff?
This is not a sanction ofleave. 85% staff of the government must work from home. It is expected that departments will embrace e-office as well as tele-meeeting systems.
16. There is an ambiguity in respect of travel perm}tted for lawyers and clerks. Bombay high court PILs have permitted travel of members of bar and their clerks.
Advocates offices are open as essential services, and hence travel for work is a valid reason. These however are not allowed by local trains/ metros/ monos. They may travel by private cars, taxis or public or private buses.
17. Can someone stuck in one city or another state travel in personal cars to hometown? Is inter-district business travel allowed? Can people with flight bookings travel from various cities in Maharashtra to Mumbai airport by cab?
1. Persons stuck from other states may come in through flights or long distance trains or long distance buses and take taxis/ public transport to residence.
2. Inter-district business travel is not allowed.
3. These may be allowed provided their origin city does not have an airport and every traveller in the taxi has a boarding pass. Implementing agencies must satisfy itself of the veracity or genuine of the claim though we may towards trusting the citizen. Anyone trying to misuse the trust should be fined as per the orders.