In a major relief to lakhs of stranded people, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday, April 29, in a fresh set of guidelines allowed migrant workers, tourists, students and other people stranded in different parts of the country to move to their states.
The order comes a day after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to respond to the issue while hearing a set of petitions asking migrant labourers who do not have COVID-19 to be permitted to return home.
In its guidelines, MHA said, "Due to lockdown, migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons are stranded at different places. They would be allowed to move." For this, it directed the states and union territories to designate nodal authorities and "develop standard protocols for sending and receiving such persons".
"In case a group of stranded persons wish to move between one state/UT and another state/UT, the sending and receiving states may consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by road," it added.
However, the people will be screened before movement and those found asymptomatic will be allowed to proceed. Buses will also be available to facilitate the interstate movement of the people. The buses will be sanitized and shall follow safe social distancing norms in seating.
"On arrival at their destination, such person(s) would be assessed by the local health authorities, and kept in-home quarantine, unless the assessment requires keeping the person(s) in institutional quarantine. They would be kept under watch with periodic health check-ups," the order said.
Furthermore, the order said that those allowed to move "may be encouraged to use Aarogya Setu app through which their health status can be monitored and tracked."
Several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Punjab, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, have brought back thousands of their students and tourists stranded in various parts of the country by bus. Over the weekend, Uttar Pradesh transferred over 12,000 migrant workers from Haryana.