No candidates or their agents will be allowed inside counting halls without a negative coronavirus report, according to the latest result-day guidelines issued by the Election Commission.
Candidates or their agents who have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine can also enter the counting hall on May 2 when votes for Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu will be counted, according to the guidelines issued on Wednesday
No public gathering outside the counting venue will be allowed during the process of counting, the guideline said. Candidates, their agents and supporters are usually seen at counting centres on the day election votes are counted. Winning candidates often celebrate their victories with a large number of people gathering.
"No candidates or agents will be allowed inside the counting hall without undergoing RT-PCR/RAT test or without having two doses of vaccination against Covid-19 and will have to produce negative RT-PCR report or RAT report or vaccination reports within 48 hours of start of counting," the guideline read.
The counting of votes start at 8 am on May 2. The vaccination drive has so far covered Indian citizens above the age of 45. Vaccination drives will be open for Indians between the ages of 18 and 45 from May 1 and the registration link for the same went live on Wednesday evening at 4 pm.
However, many of those who registered for the vaccination drive are yet to be given a slot for available sessions from May 1. At present, the sessions available are for April 29 and April 30 for those who are above the age of 45.