The Punjab government on Saturday made it mandatory for those travelling to the state to either be fully-vaccinated against Covid-19 or carry a negative RT-PCR test report.
The rule will be applicable from Monday for passengers travelling to the state by road or aboard trains and airplanes.
The state government said that it will especially monitor travellers from neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Jammu in view of the rise in Covid-19 positivity rates there.
At a meeting to review Punjab’s Covid-19 situation, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed officials to ensure that only fully-vaccinated teachers or those who have recently recovered from the infection are allowed take in-person classes in schools and colleges.
“He [Singh] further ordered prioritisation of teachers and non-teaching staff for vaccination, with special camps to be held to ensure that all are covered with the first dose within this month [August] and those due for the second dose to be also prioritised,” the Punjab government said.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu also suggested a reduction in the gap between two vaccine doses.
Punjab has recorded a marginal increase in Covid-19 positivity rate over the last week, the state government said. Positivity rate refers to the percentage of people who are positive for the virus out of those who have been tested overall.
On Friday, the state reported 89 new cases and zero deaths. Its cumulative tally since the beginning of the pandemic in January last year rose to 5,99,846.
Schools in Punjab opened for all classes on August 2. The government said that since August 9, 41 students and 1 staff member at government schools had tested positive for the infection.
Singh ordered officials to collect at least 10,000 samples from school students and staff members for Covid-19 testing everyday. He added that the option to attend classes online should be available to all the students.