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Maharashtra state introduces mandatory Covid testing for tradefair participants

India’s second most populous state, Maharashtra, has decreed that tradefair participants, including the organisers, contractors and exhibitors, will have to produce a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours prior to entering an exhibition. A notification to this effect from the state’s department of industries, energy and labour was reported on 22 December.

The Covid-19 tests can be either antigen or PCR and need to be processed through government laboratories. Failure to comply to the regulations could result in prosecution under the Indian Penal Code and Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The new standard operating procedures must be followed by venues and organisers, the state authorities said. These included ensuring numbers of show visitors were tracked in halls by technology and occupancy loads moderated.

Exhibitions are currently not permitted at all in India’s ‘containment zones’ and visitors from those areas are also not allowed to take part in tradefairs in Maharashtra.

Organisers are also responsible for traceability of all visitors, according to the Maharashtra state authorities.

The Maharashtra government, on Monday, imposed restrictions on travel from heavily Covid-afflicted states like Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa and Gujarat by rail or air by insisting passengers take an RT-PCR test.

On 14 December, the Maharashtra government had imposed testing restrictions on travel by air or rail from areas of the country with heavy incidences of Covid-19, including Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Photo: "Indian Postal Service - TATA Mail Van - Pune Maharashtra" by anuandraj is licensed under CC BY 2.0