India’s major mode of transportation is the Indian Railways which provides connectivity across the whole country. Trains are a very accessible method of travel for many people as it is easily accessible even to the remotest areas. But since the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of changes have been made to the travel guidelines in India. Ever since the country has gone into the ‘unlock phase’ post lockdown, railway services have resumed but with certain restrictions to safeguard the consumers health and hygiene
It is sensible to travel by train or by any means only if it is really urgent. It is advisable to follow social distancing and avoid contact with people and foreign objects as far as possible. If you’re planning to travel by train, you’ll have to be extremely careful and take necessary precautions. Here are some tips on ticket booking, boarding, hygiene, etc.
Availability of trains
Railways have rolled out special trains on various routes. You can check the availability and timings of these trains on various websites online.
Booking the ticket
Online and offline options are both available for booking tickets. The Government has allowed booking tickets from the counter. But it is advisable to book tickets online rather than from the counters as it is easier and also reduces the risk of coming in contact with the virus. You can book the tickets from IRCTC trains website. If one needs to book tickets immediately they can also book tickets through tatkal services. The passenger needs to provide their stay address whale booking the tickets. You won’t require any documents while booking the ticket online but will need to carry the documents like aadhar card/pan card/voter id while travelling.
Passengers are required to arrive at the stations at least an hour prior to scheduled departure. The passengers will first need to go through thermal scanning. If the passenger’s temperature reading is high, they are not allowed to board the train. The train ticket is verified next. Only people with valid tickets are allowed to board the train.
Facilities Provided By The Railways
The trains are being sanitized regularly, the bedsheets, napkins & curtains have been removed. The passengers need to get their own bedsheets. The pantry services have also been stopped. Water and packaged food will still be available. It is advisable to avoid buying anything to avoid contact as far as possible. Passengers should carry their own food and water.
According to Railways rules and regulations, anyone who is travelling by train needs to home quarantine themselves for a minimum of 7 days. It is also advisable to take a precautionary covid test to avoid any chances of contracting or spreading the virus.