Stranded migrants, students, tourists can now get back home: MHA issues fresh guidelines

Migrant workers, students, tourists and pilgrims stranded due to nationwide lockdown will not be able to get back home. MHA has issued fresh guidelines for their movement.

Several states have already been transporting their stranded students back from various districts or states during lockdown (PTI)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stranded students, migrants, pilgrims and tourists can now get back home
  • MHA has issued fresh guidelines for the inter-state travel of stranded people
  • The transport will be arranged by the state govts and will require pre and post Covid-19 screening

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued a fresh set of guidelines to let migrant workers, students, tourists and pilgrims stranded get back home.

The interstate movement of these stranded people will be facilitated by the state/UT government. Anyone willing to be transported back home will have to be medically screened at source as well as destination and will be kept in a home or institutional quarantine on arrival, the home ministry guidelines.

“All states to designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons. Stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students will be allowed to move with conditions during the lockdown,” the MHA order said.

Transportation of such individuals will be done via buses, as train or flight services are currently unavailable for passengers. The buses shall be sanitised and the authorities will follow protocols of social distancing while seating passengers in the vehicle, the MHA order said.

While the states receiving and sending such travelers must consult on the action plan, the states or UTs on the transit route will allow passage to the buses.

“On arrival of their destination such persons would be assessed by the local health authority and kept in home quarantine unless the assessment requires keeping the persons in institutional quarantine,” the MHA order said.

After arrival, the passengers will be kept under watch with periodic health checkups.

The government may ask them to install the Arogya Setu app to help the government track their health status.

This comes in the wake of demand from a few states for uniform guidelines and SOP on the movement of migrants labourers and students.

Some states like UP and Assam have already started transporting students from Rajasthan’s Kota. Some labourers stuck in Himachal were also moved to their homes as part of a special arrangement.

Over the 40-day lockdown period, there have been several instances of lockdown violation with distressing scenes of migrant labourers in different states desperately trying to return home.

MOS Home G Kishen Reddy appealed to those waiting to transit to keep patience. “It will take two to three additional days to make all the arrangements. Buses and drivers need to be arranged. People should not lose patience,” the Union minister said.

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