The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the movement of people by trains and made it clear that only asymptomatic and confirmed ticket holders will be allowed to travel.
In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said all passengers will have to wear face masks and observe social distancing norms during while entering a station and during travel.
“Only those passengers with confirmed e-tickets shall be allowed to enter the station. The movement of the passenger(s) as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting the passenger(s) to and fro the railway station shall be allowed on the basis of the confirmed e-ticket,” the order said.
The Ministry of Railways will ensure that passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only those who are asymptomatic will be allowed to enter or board a train.
The home ministry said all passengers shall be provided hand sanitiser at stations and in coaches.
On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state or union territory.
For the first time since March 25, when the lockdown began, a total of 15 trains for different destinations will leave New Delhi on Tuesday for which bookings began on Monday.
Giving an indication that the government is inclined to allow more trains to ply, the home ministry said the movement of trains shall be permitted by the Ministry of Railways in a graded manner, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
“Train schedule, protocols for booking, entry and movement of passengers, and coach service specifications shall be widely publicised by the Ministry of Railways,” the order said.
The health advisories and guidelines will be circulated by the Ministry of Railways through the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign for their staff members and passengers.