Maharashtra tightens curbs on office staffing, transport access

Informist, Thursday, Apr 22, 2021


MUMBAI – The government of Maharashtra has tightened restrictions related to staffing in offices, public and private transport, and even wedding ceremonies, as additional measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The latest norms will kick in from 2000 IST today and will be in effect till 0700 IST on May 1.

As per a notification issued late on Wednesday, 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.

For those tagged as essential services, the instruction is to work with the lowest possible capacity, and not exceed 50% staffing. However, in case of those actually delivering such services, even 100% staffing can be allowed, as per the order. 

In the case of services tagged as exempted category in the Apr 13 norms, the government has specified that the staffing will be capped at 15% of total strength or five persons, whichever is higher.

Only government personnel–state, central and local bodies, and medical community professionals can access local trains, mono rails, and metro services. The exception here is for persons needing medical treatment, and specially abled persons, who can be accompanied by one companion.

This is a crucial move as the access to local trains for the public in Mumbai was seen as the harbinger of the second wave of COVID cases in the city.

Private passenger buses can only ply within city limits for emergency or essential services, with 50% seating, and no standing passengers.

Buses run by state governments or local authorities can ply at 50% of capacity with no standing passengers.

For inter-city or inter-district bus and train travellers, requirements such as 14-day quarantine, temperature testing and even rapid antigen tests can be implemented.

For marriage ceremonies, a single function for a maximum two hours, with just 25 persons in attendance, is permitted.  End

Reported by T. Bijoy Idicheriah
Edited by Aditya Sakorkar


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