We may have believed the Covid pandemic to be past us, but it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. So the best thing to do now is to stay home and wait it out. But even in times like these, there’s a lot of need for public transport as an essential service. So it is comprehensible why one would take such risks to travel even at times like these.
If you’re planning on taking a bus in India during Covid, there are certain guidelines you should keep in mind. However, you should also keep yourself informed regarding the lockdown status and regulations of the city/state you need to visit. Since the rules keep updating pretty often, it’s important to know whether you can take a bus to a particular destination in India or not.
So here is a comprehensive guide on how to take a bus in India during Covid.
Mandated Guidelines For Intercity Bus Travel
Although the buses have resumed their services, it is not as it was pre-corona. It will still take a few more months before the services are full-fledged again. Hence, it is imminent to keep an eye on updates regarding the guidelines. It is advised to the passengers to be up-to-date on the issued protocols of the state and region that they are about to travel to.
The rules regarding inter-city and inter-state road transport have also been changed and keep changing often. So you’ll have to check with the state transport or private bus service providers regarding availability and frequency, which is not too high. Moreover, you will have to read up on the guidelines of the specific state/city you’re visiting, to find out whether bus transportation would be a possibility for you or not.
Book your tickets online at the portal of the concerned website. By purchasing an e-ticket, you are minimizing the physical contact and exposure from the virus.
Do not forget to check your temperature before travelling. This ensures a safe environment for everyone, including yourself. It is also vital to keep your face masks on throughout the entire journey till you get back home.
Download the Aarogya Setu app prior to travelling. The app helps in raising awareness about Covid-19 and one of its features is to alert the user regarding nearby infected areas using the device’s GPS and bluetooth.
For long and overnight trips, it is advised to bring your own bedding (such as blankets and pillows) as none will be provided.
In case you run out of tissues, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve of your clothing to avoid spreading the germs. It is prohibited to dispose of your biohazardous materials like tissues or masks or gloves inside the bus.
Extra Precautions That You Can Take
Keeping your face mask on at all times by protecting yourself from any transmission of the virus is vital. At the same time, there is a lot more you can do on your part to ensure your safety.
While commuting via bus, it is inevitable to come in contact with the virus through commonly touched surfaces like handrails, doorknobs, baggage compartments, etc. Hence, it’s important that you don’t forget to sanitize using an alcohol-based sanitizer, not just once, but multiple times throughout your journey.
Do not flock to one place or rush to catch up with the bus thereby ignoring the crucial social distancing. Leave the seats empty that are marked in order to endorse proper distance between individuals.
Avoid cramped commutes like subways. Preferably choose a window seat as the more ventilation, the better it is. Apart from that, carry your own disinfectant products with which wipe your seat and nearby areas before settling in.
If possible, try to commute using a non air-conditioned bus for ventilation purposes as it is highly possible that they might not have installed safety features like air purifiers and might not change air vents periodically. It is understandable why one would like to opt for AC private buses, but at times like these avoid buses that do not follow the basic principles of distancing.
Avoid eating food for short trips even if they are homemade. Do not unnecessarily touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands. In case of long trips, make sure to properly wash and sanitize your hands before eating.
After arriving at your destination, remember to remove your shoes, put your clothes to wash and take a bath as soon as you can. In case you carried a bag or suitcase, do not forget to disinfect them too.
Despite the Covid lockdowns and restrictions, aking a bus in India during Covid is certainly a possibility as long as the reason is justified. Being responsible citizens by abiding by the rules and letting the authorities do their work smoothly is the least we can do. In case you do not feel well, abstain from traveling and home quarantine yourself for 14 days after visiting the nearby health facility.
Are Buses Working In Mumbai?
Yes, bus services are running in Mumbai, but it’s not open to the general public. The service is only open to those who are designated essential workers by the government. For interstate travel, private buses will operate at 50% capacity and are to comply with other Covid regulations.
Buses Are Running In Delhi?
Yes, buses are running in Delhi, but at 50% capacity.
Are Interstate Buses Running In India?
Interstate buses are running in India, but keep yourself updated on the state-wise rules as they may be different or subject to change.
Is Interstate Bus Travel Allowed In Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh has put no restrictions on interstate bus travel. But all passengers are to install the Aarogya Setu app on their phones and if they’re arriving from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, an RT-PCR test that’s not older than 72 hours is a must.
Do Sleeper Buses In India Have Toilets?
Most sleeper buses in India do not have toilets. But it’s possible to a travel operator that provides buses with toilets.
Are Interstate Buses Running In Karnataka?
Yes, interstate bus services are available in Karnataka. If you’re arriving from other states, you are to register yourself in the Seva Sindhu Portal of the Karnataka Government. Failing to show this proof of registration to a KSRTC official means you won’t be allowed to board the bus.
Passengers arriving from Andhra Pradesh are to carry their Aadhaar Card as well.
How Can Ventilation Reduce The Risk Of Contracting Covid-19 In Airplanes?
Ventilation systems in airplanes have HEPA filtration systems that are efficient in removing microbes in the air. So traveling in planes (while following Covid protocols) is quite safe.
Should You Meet With Other People During The Covid-19 Pandemic?
The rule of thumb when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic is that the more people you meet, the greater the risk of infection. So social distancing and self-isolation are the two things that you must live by.
Can Fans Be Used Safely Inside During The Covid-19 Pandemic?
Yes, you can use fans indoors during the Covid pandemic. In fact, you should try and keep windows open so as to let in fresh air.
Is Covid-19 Airborne Disease?
Coronavirus spreads when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes, and releases aerosols in the air, putting a person who is within 6 feet of them at risk.
Taking Buses In India During CovidGuide To Taking Buses In India During Coronavirus