Can you drive from Mumbai to Pune without an e-pass now? Maharashtra’s level-wise unlock plan explained | Condé Nast Traveller IndiaJune 7, 2021
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From 7 June, Maharashtra has started rolling out a level-wise plan, with restrictions being pegged to how many severe cases of COVID a certain district can handle. Level 5 would bring a total lockdown to the district, whereas Level 1 means life and business can go back to normal (but please keep those masks on, and maintain safe distance). Mumbai and Pune City are currently at Level 3, whereas Pune District (with Lonavala, Khandala) is at Level 4. Thane City and Navi Mumbai are Level 2, while Aurangabad can unlock completely—for now—at Level 1. There is no clarity on whether Raigad (with Alibaug) is at Level 3 or 4.
Level-wise rules for travelling within Maharashtra
While the rules vary basis the levels, here are some highlights:
- Travel is now virtually unrestricted across the state. You will need an e-pass only if you are travelling to a Level 4 or Level 5 district. (You can apply for an e-pass here.) No district is at Level 5, but there is no clarity on the list of districts at Level 4.
- If you are flying within Maharashtra, say Nagpur to Mumbai, you no longer need an RT-PCR test.
- In Level 1 districts, such as Aurangabad and Nagpur, restaurants can now resume full operations, including dine-in. In Level 2 districts, like Thane and Navi Mumbai, they can function with some restrictions, including a 50% cap on capacity.
- Level 3 and upwards, public transport will be more accessible across most levels, although Mumbai will have to climb up to Level 1 for local trains to be open to all (currently, they will only take those working in essential services and other specific sets of passengers).
- The 25-person cap on wedding parties is being eased. Level 3 districts can host weddings with up to 50 guests; up to 100 guests in Level 2 districts, while at Level 1, the Big Fat Indian Wedding can make a big, fat comeback.
- When do you go back to work? In Level 3 districts, there will be a 50% limit, while those in Level 2 and Level 1 districts can bring staff back to office as normal.
While all this is great, do remember that the levels will be reviewed basis the data every Thursday, which means what is open and what is not in your city—or whether you go back to the office next week—could change very quickly.