All religious institutions in Bhubaneswar to reopen from Feb 12; fresh guidelines issued

Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) today decided to reopen all religious institutions under its jurisdiction for devotees from February 12.

The civic body took the decision keeping in view the decline in daily COVID-19 cases

The BMC also issues the following safety guidelines to be scrupulously followed by all concerned:

1. Only those devotees, who are fully vaccinated (if eligible for vaccination) will be allowed inside the temple premises. Either hard copy or soft copy of the certificate may be relied upon for verification . Further, the devotees shall be required to bring Aadhar/voter ID or any other photo ID card for identification. However, no devotee shall be allowed inside the Garva Griha of the temple. Darshan will be allowed from a safe distance only. Devotees will not be allowed to offer Prasad in the temple until further orders.

2. Children aged below 15 years will be allowed inside the religious institutions with proper ID proof and only under the supervision of their parents or adult relatives.

3. For Lord Lingaraj temple, maximum 100 devotees at a time will be allowed from Singhadwar to Ada- Katha. However, Sahan darshan/ Garvagruha darshan must be completely prohibited.
4. Similarly, all other religious institutions like Mosque/Church/Gurudwara will also be allowed to open from the same date for fully vaccinated devotees.
5. Social disrancing should not be violated under any circumstance. Authorities/management of the respective religious institutions should ensure that six feet distance is maintained between the devotees.

6. Authorities/management of respective temple/mosque/church/gurudwara should ensure that only the priests and Sevayats, who are fully vaccinated, are allowed to perform the rituals. The priests/Sevayats must wear mask at all times in coherence to COVID protocols.
7. All devotees must wear mask and maintain appropriate social distancing of six feet from each other at all times.
8. The temple/mosque/church/gurudwara authorities must make adequate provision for hand washing / hand sanitizing for devotees at the entry and exit points
9. Chewing of PAN /Ghutka and spitting must be strictly prohibited inside and outside the premises
10. The person with SARI / ILI like symptoms shall not be allowed inside.
11. Persons belonging to other vulnerable groups such as person with co-morbidities, elderly persons, pregnant women are advised not to visit religious institutions

The guidelines will be remain in force till February 28.

Earlier on January 31, Odisha Government had authorized Municipal Commissioners to accord permission for regulating public worship at religious places based on assessment of COVID situation in the respective localities.

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