Train travel during covid-19 india needs a lot of readiness than usual, especially on a journey for one day or more on the train. Earlier, Train travel has always left us with bitter and sweet memories. The true essence of traveling comes with companionship, but if you are a solo traveler in India; you need not worry. You will come across several people sharing their old stories, lunch boxes, watching your bag, and clicking endless pictures.
Just a quick look out of the window, you can see mothers seeing off their kids with smiles and tears, Kids bouncing on bags, and fathers getting snacks and newspapers ready for their journey. All these faces, smiles, tears, cheers, excitement, and thrill suddenly came to a halt. Everything completes your travel experience leaving you with friends, jokes, contacts, stories, and learnings to tell.
However, after the COVID-19 virus outbreak, train travel rules in India have just changed drastically. Everything felt vanished. The government has introduced train travel guidelines, but nothing could replace the old charm.
Recently we travelled to meet our family by train. There were lot of thoughts in the mind as to how we will travel, what precautions to take etc. We researched a lot before booking our train tickets just to make sure that the journey should be safe for us.
I couldn’t see any smiles through masks, tears took the place of fears, no signs of vendors, sanitizers have taken the place of water bottles and thermos, no tea sellers asking ‘Chai lelo madam,’ no kids bouncing on bags, kids were made seated at a distance, everything just changed. My last train experience was overwhelming, but this train journey after COVID was different in many ways. The pandemic has changed the course of life, not only in India but worldwide.
Things like social distancing, wearing masks, cleanliness, and sanitization might appear simple on the surface. But if you wish to enjoy safe train travel during COVID in India, you need to be informed of each train travel guidelines. Below mentioned are some easy ways to protect yourself from the clutches of this deadly virus.
Quick Tips before you start your journey:
- Book Tickets online via IRCTC: You can book your ticket through the IRCTC website or its mobile application. Cancellation can be done 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train. No counter tickets available as of now
- Must download Aarogya Setu App on your phone.
- Carry adequate food & water for the trip,
- Carry blankets –as no bed rolls are being currently given and
- Carry a photocopy of the confirmed ticket, just in case and be aware of the state advisory you are going to avoid surprises.
- Passengers with confirmed e-tickets will be permitted to enter the railway station premises. No more relatives allowed to see off you.
- All the passengers will be screened to identify and give entry to only asymptomatic passengers to board the train.
- Passengers will have to arrive at the departure station at least 90 minutes before the departure time of the train.
- Passengers will be given hand sanitizers at all entry and exit points as well as on board the train.
Train Travel Rules to follow:
No Entry without Wearing a Mask:
Train journey after COVID is accompanied by a mask. Mask is the ideal way to prevent the direct transmission of a virus from an infected person. If you are traveling through Indian railways, you aren’t allowed inside the train without wearing a mask.
For some people, wearing a mask for long hours could be a hassle. But you might get comfortable if you think about all the good things that come with a mask. Mask ensures safe train travel during COVID. Also, you can say anything to anyone without getting caught. I tried it, and it is fun. Small pranks are no harm.
You might have seen people wearing a mask the wrong way just for the sake of wearing it. People undermine the importance of wearing a mask on the nose and mouth to prevent exposure. You could find endless billboards asking to wear masks on nose and mouth rather than on their chins, forehead, and neck. For extra precaution, you can also wear gloves to prevent touching an infected surface.
Sanitizer is must:
Every railway station is sanitized for safe train travel during COVID in India. You can find thermal screening points at every station. However, it is highly advisable to carry your pocket sanitizer. It is also part of train travel guidelines given by Indian railways.
A pocket sanitizer is essential than your mobile phone. Yes, it is. Prioritize, my friend. You are not allowed to touch overhead baggage compartments, handrails, or doorknobs. As a responsible citizen, you can also help authorities to maintain hygiene by carrying our sanitizers for safe train travel safe during COVID.
We can avoid eating and drinking water from a public place during travel. Avoid touching nose, eyes, mouth, and face before proper sanitization of hands.
Maintain Social Distancing:
Initially, I wasn’t sure how social distancing norms could be followed on an overcrowded station platform, but all the preparations were top notch. I remember how we used to shift the other person from our berth to enjoy our comfort and lie down properly. Some ladies might end up fighting, leaving me in fits of laughter. However, nothing like this could be seen anymore.
Trains are not filled to the full capacity of passengers. It is mandatory to maintain distance between rows for easy and hassle-free movement and zero contact with other passengers. It is imperative to stay alert all the time. Also, staying 6 feet away from each other goes unsaid. Avoid the use of public toilets for your safety.
Support the Authorities:
Indian Railways has made thermal screening a mandatory practice. The radiations from thermal screening help in easy detection of variations in body temperature. The central government has already requested states to provide thermal screening at railway stations, airports, or bus stations. so, you will see Healthline workers checking your temprature at the entrance of the station.
Keeping yourself clean is of primary importance. Indian railways improved the cleaning facility for safe train travel during COVID in India. Railway authorities have appointed people to clean every nook and corner to clean the compartments, toilets thoroughly, and sanitizing seats.
Do you remember how people use to clean their eyes, feet, and hands before entering their houses? The time has come to switch to old ways. Always disinfect yourself with a sanitizer, wash your hands thoroughly for a minimum of 1 minute, and change clothes after any train journey.
Things to do after you reach to your destination:
- Change clothes immediately after any train journey
- Take hot water steam for atleast 5-10 mins
- Drink immunity drinks like Tulsi +Ginger Kadha (Hot water tea)
- Drink warm water as much as you can
- Keep an eye on your overall health for next 3-4 days.
Many people might think train travel during COVID in India is challenging. However, rather than challenging, it is different than before. our first train journey to Nanded had been very apprehensive, but everything fell in the right place once we reached our destination. All you need is to keep you protected and avoid unnecessary interaction.
For safe and secure travel, please follow all the train travel guidelines given by the concerned authorities.
Have a safe journey!!
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