The Tamil Nadu government has recently mandated e-passes for those arriving in the state by road and flight, except from the neighbouring states Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and the Union Territory of Puducherry, in view of a upward trend in fresh COVID-19 cases.
Here’s how you can apply for an e-pass:
- Go to the website https://eregister.tnega.org/#/user/pass. Everyone entering the state from other states or countries must register here. Those travelling within the state to hill stations and tourist spots like Nilgiris, Kodaikanal, and Yercaud too will have to register.
- Register here with your mobile number and the OTP sent to the entered number.
The sudden move to impose an e-pass rule comes amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases across the country, especially in states like Maharashtra and neighbouring Kerala. Even Tamil Nadu has been recording a rise in new daily infections over the past few days.
In view of this, the state’s Health and Family Welfare Department issued new travel rules on March 4.
Significance of e-passes: The e-passes are important tools for the government that helps in tracing travellers and their contacts in case they get infected during their stay in that region.
Who needs an e-pass: All travellers arriving in Tamil Nadu from other states and Union Territories or abroad are required to auto-generate an e-pass from the above-mentioned link after registering themselves with the government. However, you won’t need an e-pass if you’re travelling to the state from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Puducherry. But, even if you are travelling within Tamil Nadu, to hill stations or tourist spots, you must register with the government.
Reports suggest travel e-pass became mandatory in Coimbatore from Tuesday with beefed up vigilance at six check-posts at the state border with Kerala.
The e-pass system was first imposed last year for inter-district and inter-state travel due to the rising COVID-19 cases. The rules were later relaxed.
Recently, State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan pointed out people are showing laxity in following COVID-19 norms like wearing masks, and that cases are rising mong those who attended gatherings like weddings or funerals.
He said people must see the surge in cases in Maharashtra and Kerala as a “warning sign” and follow the COVID-19 norms. He also said that people arriving in the state from abroad must obtain a COVID-19 negative certificate 72 hours prior to their travel time, and those coming from UK must take a COVID-19 take on arrival.
The state witnessed a daily rise of 500-plus cases for the fourth straight day on Monday, marking a worrisome trend.