The Union government recently wrote to all states asking them to ensure that there is no restriction on inter-state and inter-district travel. This as the Unlock 3.0 guidelines which were announced till August 31 have stated that there will be no restrictions on the same. Since then, some states and union territories, especially in south India, have either brought in relaxations, removing the need to register for an e-pass, or are mulling to do so.
Here are the norms for inter-state travel currently in place in the five south Indian states and the Union Territory of Puducherry:
Karnataka recently announced major relaxations for inter-state travellers. The state has done away with mandatory registration on the Seva Sindhu app, and has also removed the mandatory 14-day home quarantine for those who travel from other states in India. This includes those who travel by road and by air. Travellers will not be subjected to mandatory medical check-up at the entry of the state borders or bus, airport or rail stations upon arrival.
However, the state has asked people to monitor their health for 14 days from the date of their arrival for any symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough, cold, throat pain, difficulty in breathing, etc. If they get any symptoms, they have been asked to seek medical consultation without fail or call the Apthamitra helpline (14410).
For travel into Andhra Pradesh, citizens still need to register onto the Spandana website and get an e-pass.
All symptomatic and asymptomatic persons coming from Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will be sent to institutional quarantine where they shall be tested on admission and after 7 days again tested and if found negative will be sent for home quarantine for 7 days. Asymptomatic persons coming from other areas will be sent to home quarantine for 14 days after their swabs are collected. If the swab is positive, they will then either be sent for treatment or advised to remain under home quarantine as per their symptoms.
MT Krishnababu, the Principal Secretary to the Andhra Pradesh government for transport, said that the e-pass does not restrict any inter-state travel and merely is a registry of people entering the state. On inquiring if they will be making any changes following the Centreâ€™s direction, he said that a revised file is with the Chief Secretary but he cannot give a tentative date as to when the government will give an order or make a decision. The Chief Secretary was unavailable for comment.
Kerala has decided not to do away with the e-pass system, which has led to several organisations and the BJP protesting the move. As per the state governmentâ€™s rules, people who wish to travel to Kerala have to register on the Jagratha e-portal and wait for their request to be approved. The travellers will have to show their e-pass at border check-points and their temperature will also be checked there. Travellers will then have to mandatorily stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
In Telangana, there are no restrictions on inter-state travel and people do not need an e-pass. There is no mandate for inter-state travellers to undergo home quarantine, either.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has been holding consultations with officials and experts on whether the e-pass norm can be done away with. Only after the consultations can the government take a decision, Jayakumar, the Tamil Nadu Minister for Fisheries and Personnel and Administrative Reforms had said.
Currently, for intra-state travel, e-pass can be obtained by submitting details of either Aadhaar or ration card along with telephone/mobile numbers without any delays. Tamil Nadu recently relaxed the e-pass norms for travel between districts in the state. E-passes for those who come from other states and those arriving from abroad are, however, only given to those with medical emergencies, weddings or deaths.
Following the Centreâ€™s direction that there should not be any restriction on interstate travel, the government of Puducherry has said that no e-passes will be necessary to move to and from the Union Territory.