No candidates, or their agents, will be allowed to enter the counting centres without either a negative RT-PCR test or a full vaccination report, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said on Wednesday. 

Each district election officer (DEO) will have to arrange for RT-PCR/RAT tests for candidates and counting agents before votes are counted on May 2, the ECI said in its order, ANI reported.

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“No candidates or agents will be allowed inside the counting hall without undergoing RT-PCR/RAT test or without having 2 doses of vaccination against COVID-19 and will have to produce negative RT-PCR report or RAT report or vaccination reports within 48 hours of start of counting,” it said in its order said.

“The DEO shall make arrangement of RT-PCR/RAT Test to candidates or counting agents before the day of counting.” 

The poll body also said that each state will have to prepare a detailed plan for counting arrangements with keeping in mind all COVID-19 protocols. 

The ECI said that the plan will be three-layered and prepared in consultation with health officials at assembly constituency, district and state level.  

Voting for the assembly constituencies was conducted in five states – Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry – results for which will be declared on May 2.