The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced that complete vaccination against Covid-19 will be mandatory for everyone, including essential workers, who want to travel in local trains in the state.

Earlier, residents engaged in essential services and government employees were allowed to board local trains, irrespective of their vaccination status. Others were allowed to board local trains only if they had taken taken both doses of the vaccine and more than 14 days had elapsed since the complete vaccination.

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte’s order said that a considerable amount of time had passed since the vaccination drive began, and that the programme has been conducted at a very rapid pace.

The state government’s order said that its definition of a vaccinated person includes “people who have completed both doses of the vaccine and 14 days have elapsed since the administration of the second dose”.

It further noted that includes “people who cannot take the vaccine due to medical reasons and people who cannot take the vaccine due to age restrictions”.

The order said that passes for local trains will be issued only to those who come within this definition of a vaccinated person, irrespective of whether they are essential workers.

“Furthermore, with regard to issue of passes for train travel (local train and passenger trains), any kind of passes (monthly/quarterly/half yearly, etc) are allowed to be issued to the commuters...” the order said. Earlier, the railways only issued monthly passes to commuters.

From August 15, fully vaccinated people have been allowed to board local trains in Mumbai. Minor students who were not eligible for vaccination against Covid-19 were also allowed to board the local trains from October 20, the Hindustan Times reported.

From October 28, the Central Railway and Western Railway will run suburban trains at a 100% capacity when compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to PTI. While the Central Railway will run 1,774 services per day, the Western Railway will run 1,367 services.