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Updated 15 July 2021

After almost three months of havoc wreaked by the coronavirus, Maharashtra is finally seeing improvement in its case count, as the daily caseload had plunged down to around 8,000. The government is now gradually easing restrictions, revitalizing its stagnated economy.

Here’s everything you need to know about this unlock: what’s open, what’s not, and which cities are under which level.

Maharashtra lockdown

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government has imposed COVID-related restrictions in the state in a phased manner from mid-April, under the ‘break the chain’ initiative.

The coronavirus-induced restrictions have been extended in Maharashtra. However, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said certain relaxations and restrictions will be enforced depending on the severity of the transmission in the districts.

A 5-level approach has been adopted by the state cabinet in respect to the unlock. The Public Health Department will declare the positivity rate and oxygen beds occupation for each district every Thursday and based on these stats, the district management authorities will implement the level of restrictions in their respective areas.

Criteria

  • Level 1: case positivity rate less than 5% and occupancy of hospital beds less than 25%
  • Level 2: case positivity rate of 5% and occupancy of hospital beds less than 25-40%
  • Level 3: case positivity rate 5-10% and occupancy of hospital beds less than 40-60%
  • Level 4: case positivity rate 10-20% and occupancy of hospital beds less than 60-75%
  • Level 5: case positivity rate more than 20% and occupancy of hospital beds more than 75%

Different sets of restrictions have been assigned to each level of lockdown, level 5 being the strictest.

Districts and the levels of restrictions

The entire state was put under level-3 restrictions in late June. According to Rajesh Tope, the Health Minister of Maharashtra, these lockdown restrictions in the state will not be relaxed anytime soon.

Kolhapur and Raigad, however, will be in level-4 due to a surge in cases.

Pune and Mumbai remain under the regulations of Level 3.

 

The 5 levels explained

Level 1

No restrictions on crowding or movement (i.e, neither Jamav Bandi nor Sanchar Bandi)

Shops, services and marketplaces

  • Essentials: throughout the day, as usual
  • Non-essentials: throughout the day, as usual
  • Restaurants: throughout the day, as usual
  • Salons, beauty parlours and spas: throughout the day, as usual

Entertainment and sports venues

  • Malls, theatres, auditoriums: throughout the day, as usual
  • Sports centres: throughout the day, as usual
  • Gyms and wellness centres: throughout the day, as usual
  • Shooting: throughout the day, as usual
  • Other public places: throughout the day, as usual

Public gatherings

  • Cultural, social, entertainment: as usual
  • Marriages: as usual
  • Funerals: as usual
  • Meetings, elections and political assemblies: as usual

Offices and industries

  • Private offices: all
  • Attendance (government and private both): 100%
  • Construction: regular
  • Agriculture: regular
  • E-Commerce: regular
  • Export Oriented Units: regular

Transport and travel

  • Local trains: regular
  • Public buses: regular
  • Cargo (max three persons): regular
  • Inter-district travel: regular, except if passing through any level 5 area with a stoppage inside, where e-Pass is required

 

Level 2

Restrictions on crowding, not on movement (i.e, only Jamav Bandi, no Sanchar Bandi)

Shops, services and marketplaces

  • Essentials: throughout the day, as usual
  • Non-essentials: throughout the day, as usual
  • Restaurants: dine-in only at 50% capacity
  • Salons, beauty parlours and spas: 50% capacity, appointment basis only

Entertainment and sports venues

  • Malls, theatres, auditoriums: 50% capacity
  • Sports centres: 5 AM – 9 AM and 5 PM – 9 PM for indoor sports, throughout the day for outdoor sports
  • Gyms and wellness centres: 50% capacity, appointment basis only
  • Shooting: as usual
  • Other public places: as usual

Public gatherings

  • Cultural, social, entertainment: 50% capacity
  • Marriages: 50% capacity capped at 100 persons
  • Funerals: as usual
  • Meetings, elections and political assemblies: 50% capacity

Offices and industries

  • Private offices: all
  • Attendance (government and private both): 100%
  • Construction: regular
  • Agriculture: regular
  • E-Commerce: regular
  • Export Oriented Units: regular

Transport and travel

  • Local trains: restricted to medical and essential purposes, exempted categories and women
  • Public buses: 100% without standing
  • Cargo (max three persons): regular
  • Inter-district travel: regular, except if passing through any level 5 area with a stoppage inside, where e-Pass is required

 

Level 3

Restrictions on crowding till 5 PM and on movement after 5 PM (i.e, Jamav Bandi till 5 PM and Sanchar Bandi after 5 PM)

Shops, services and marketplaces

  • Essentials: till 4 PM on all days
  • Non-essentials: till 4 PM on weekdays
  • Restaurants: dine-in only at 50% capacity till 4 PM on weekdays, home delivery and takeaway as usual
  • Salons, beauty parlours and spas: till 4 PM only, 50% capacity, appointment basis only, no air conditioning

Entertainment and sports venues

  • Malls, theatres, auditoriums: closed
  • Sports centres: 5 AM – 9 AM and 6 PM – 9 PM, outdoor sports only
  • Gyms and wellness centres: till 4 PM only, 50% capacity, appointment basis only, no air conditioning
  • Shooting: inside bubble only, no movement outside post 5 PM
  • Other public places: 5 AM – 9 AM on all days

Public gatherings

  • Cultural, social, entertainment: 50% capacity till 4 PM on weekdays
  • Marriages: 50 people at most
  • Funerals: 20 people at most
  • Meetings, elections and political assemblies: 50% capacity

Offices and industries

  • Private offices: all (except exempted categories) till 4 PM on working days
  • Attendance (government and private both): 50%
  • Construction: only onsite labourers allowed, or labourers must leave by 4 PM
  • Agriculture: till 4 PM on all days
  • E-Commerce: regular
  • Export Oriented Units: regular

Transport and travel

  • Local trains: restricted to medical and a few essential purposes and women
  • Public buses: 100% without standing
  • Cargo (max three persons): regular
  • Inter-district travel: regular, except if passing through any level 5 area with a stoppage inside, where e-Pass is required

 

Level 4

Restrictions on movement (i.e, Sanchar Bandi)

Shops, services and marketplaces

  • Essentials: till 4 PM on all days
  • Non-essentials: closed
  • Restaurants: only home delivery and takeaways allowed, no dine-in
  • Salons, beauty parlours and spas: vaccinated customers only, till 4 PM, 50% capacity, appointment basis only, no air conditioning

Entertainment and sports venues

  • Malls, theatres, auditoriums: closed
  • Sports centres: 5 AM – 9 AM and 6 PM – 9 PM on weekdays, closed on weekends, outdoor sports only
  • Gyms and wellness centres: vaccinated customers only, till 4 PM, 50% capacity, appointment basis only, no air conditioning
  • Shooting: inside bubble only, no crowd scenes, no movement outside bubble post 5 PM on weekdays, and no movement outside bubble on weekends
  • Other public places: 5 AM – 9 AM on weekdays, closed on weekends

Public gatherings

  • Cultural, social, entertainment: prohibited
  • Marriages: 25 people at most
  • Funerals: 20 people at most
  • Meetings, elections and political assemblies: 50% capacity

Offices and industries

  • Private offices: exempted categories only
  • Attendance (government and private both): 25%
  • Construction: only onsite labourers
  • Agriculture: till 4 PM on weekdays
  • E-Commerce: only essentials
  • Export Oriented Units: with 50% staff, movement with transport bubble

Transport and travel

  • Local trains: restricted to medical and a few essential purposes only
  • Public buses: 50% without standing
  • Cargo (max three persons): regular
  • Inter-district travel: regular, except if passing through any level 5 area with a stoppage inside, where e-Pass is required

 

Level 5

Restrictions on movement (i.e, Sanchar Bandi)

Shops, services and marketplaces

  • Essentials: till 4 PM on weekdays, closed on weekends except for medicals
  • Non-essentials: closed
  • Restaurants: only home delivery, no takeaways or dine-in
  • Salons, beauty parlours and spas: closed

Entertainment and sports venues

  • Malls, theatres, auditoriums: closed
  • Sports centres: closed
  • Gyms and wellness centres: closed
  • Shooting: closed
  • Other public places: closed

Public gatherings

  • Cultural, social, entertainment: prohibited
  • Marriages: family only
  • Funerals: 20 people at most
  • Meetings, elections and political assemblies: only online

Offices and industries

  • Private offices: exempted categories only
  • Attendance (government and private both): 15%
  • Construction: only onsite labourers or only essential construction
  • Agriculture: till 4 PM on weekdays
  • E-Commerce: only essentials
  • Export Oriented Units: with 50% staff, work with isolation bubble

Transport and travel

  • Local trains: restricted to medical personnel
  • Public buses: 50% without standing
  • Cargo (max three persons): with e-Pass only
  • Inter-district travel: only in case of medical emergencies or for performing essential duties, e-Pass required if there’s a stoppage

 

Can you travel to/from Maharashtra during the lockdown?

Though non-essential interstate travel is not explicitly prohibited, the government has mandated the e-Pass and this pass is approved only in certain cases (read below), thus ultimately limiting interstate travel.

It is mandatory for passengers arriving from other states and union territories to carry an RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours. Army personnel and infants are exempted from this.

Thermal screening is being done at bus depots, airports and railway stations for people coming from other states. If found symptomatic, you may have to take another RT-PCR test at your expense.

Fully vaccinated travellers flying to Maharashtra need not present RT-PCR negative test results. However, they must carry their vaccination certificates.

 

What is the Maharashtra e-Pass and who needs it?

The Maharashtra e-Pass had been reintroduced for those who need to travel inter-district or inter-state for emergency reasons. They need to carry a soft/ hard copy of the pass while traveling to show it to the police when asked.

Now, however, the Maharashtra Police website for COVID-19 e-Pass clearly states: “As per the State Government decision, Travel e-pass is no longer required for traveling.”