Updated 15 July 2021
As India continues to wage war against an unchronicled virus, Pune in Maharashtra remains one of the worst-hit places to date, with the state itself sitting atop the list of states recording the highest number of total cases. In spite of the struggles to keep COVID-19 outbreak within control, the city has started opening up in a phased manner following social distancing norms.
Read along to know in details about traveling to Pune, quarantine regulations, and reopening in Pune.
Can I travel to Pune?
Indian nationals and citizens currently abroad
Since the inception of the Vande Bharat mission, the Indian Government has repatriated Indian nationals stuck in several parts of the world. Up until 15 July, as many as 2.1 million citizens have been repatriated from foreign lands via various modes.
If you are a foreign national but an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cardholder, you can also travel to Pune.
OCI cardholder minor children whose parents are Indian nationals, OCI cardholders married couples where one of the partners is an Indian national, and students whose at least one parent is either an Indian national or OCI cardholder are free to enter Pune.
Foreigners with valid visas in certain categories
A few select categories of foreigners can also travel to India, per the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. This includes foreign businessmen on business visas (excluding B-3 Visa for sports), foreign healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians, managerial, and design specialists on having a work invitation from Indian facilities, among others.
Foreigners married to Indians, dependents of foreign diplomats, and foreign nationals stuck in neighboring countries who wish to return to their country through India can travel to Pune. Visitors for all other employment purposes and their dependent family members on Dependent visas and Indian origin foreigners who need to travel for family emergencies in the country will also be allowed travel to Pune.
Anyone who falls under these categories needs to obtain a new business visa or employment visa from Indian posts abroad. Those who already have long-term valid visas for multiple entry purposes would have to re-validate them.
After the last release, dated October 21, now permits all foreigners to travel to Pune and the rest of India except for tourist visas. Nepal and Bhutan nationals can travel to Pune from any other third country.
Anyone who wishes to travel to Pune needs to obtain a new business visa or employment visa or any other valid visa from Indian posts abroad, and those who already have long-term valid visas for multiple entry purposes would have to re-validate them (i.e. if the validity had expired).
Air travel bubble flights at Pune Airport
India currently has bilateral travel bubble arrangements with 27 countries, including, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK, the USA, and Uzbekistan.
Under this agreement, if you hold any valid visa issued by the Indian Mission for any of the previously mentioned categories, you can travel to Pune from outside the country. However, for tourism purposes, entry is still restricted.
Regular two-way flights continue to flying between Pune and some of these countries under this arrangement as the Vande Bharat mission now operates into the tenth phase. The present phase will last until 31 October 2021.
Scheduled commercial international flights remain to cancel till the end of July 2021.
Do I need to quarantine after I reach Pune?
It is mandatory for passengers arriving into Pune from other states/UT to carry a negative RT-PCR which will have to be issued from up to a maximum of 48Hours before the time of arrival into Pune. RT-PCR timeline starts from the report issuance time. Passenger not in possession of the same shall be denied boarded at the origin station
Following passenger categories are exempted from the above mentioned requirement
- Armed Forces personnel and their family members
- Members of Parliament
The Union health ministry had issued a set of revised guidelines for international arrivals amid the spread of mutant variants of coronavirus in many countries. These are the fresh guidelines for all international travellers coming/transiting through flights originating from the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East:
- All international travellers will have to submit self-declaration (SDF) for Covid on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel.
- They will also have to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report on the online portal www.newdelhiairport.in.
- The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to the journey and each passenger will also have to submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report, as per the guidelines.
All the travellers arriving from/transiting through flights originating in the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned (port of entry).
All travellers from Europe and the Middle East shall give samples at the designated area and exit the airport. If the test report is negative, they will be advised to self-monitor their health for 14 days. If the test report is positive, they will undergo treatment as per standard health protocol.
In addition to the above, travelers originating from the United Kingdom, South Africa, or Brazil shall adhere to below as well
- In case the traveler’s journey ends at the first port of entry into India, they need to undergo a molecular test upon arrival at their own cost and proceed towards home quarantine/self-health monitoring. They are not required to wait for test results.
- In case of onward connection, travelers shall have to wait for the RT-PCR test results. Onward journey shall be permitted only if the test result is negative
Arrival in India without a negative report shall be allowed only for those traveling to India in the exigency of death in the family. If they wish to seek such exemption they shall apply to the online portal at least 72 hours before boarding. The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final.
COVID-19 testing at Pune Airport
Pune airport at Lohegaon now has facilities to conduct the RT-PCR test for international passengers from the UK, Europe, Brazil, South Africa, and the Middle East, as well as those coming from the notified states of Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, and Rajasthan.
The price of the test is Rs. 600 as per the limit set by the government.
What is open and closed in Pune?
Pune is under level 3 restrictions.
This means there are 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
- 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