Bhubaneswar religious institutions to reopen from August 23, BMC issues guidelines

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All temples in the capital under the jurisdiction of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will reopen from August 23 in strict compliance with COVID-19 security protocols.

According to a notification issued by the BMC, no devotees will be allowed inside the temple’s Garva Griha and will only be allowed to “Darshari” at a safe distance. Likewise, there will be no offering of diyas and bhogs in the temples.

You will find below the SOP issued by the BMC to follow in all religious places:

At Lord Lingaraj Temple, a maximum of 100 devotees will be allowed for Singhadwar darshan in Adakatha at a time. Sahan darshan and Garvagruha darshan will be totally banned.

Likewise, no offering to the Lord will be accepted by the Sebayats and only darshan will be allowed. BMC will make the necessary barricades outside the temple and hand over to the police for the control and restriction of public movement.

All other religious institutions like mosques, churches and gurudwaras will also be allowed to open from August 23.

The authorities of the religious institution will ensure that only large numbers of worshipers are allowed inside their premises so that the six-foot social distance between them is maintained. Under no circumstances should social distancing standards be violated.

At any one time, no more than 25 people will be allowed to assemble in religious institutions like the temple, mosque, church and gurudwara.

All authorities of temples, mosques, churches and gurudwara must guarantee the RT-PCR tests of their priests or sebayats and only the holder of the negative and final COVID RT-PCR vaccination certificate will be allowed to perform rituals. Priests or sebayats must wear a mask at all times according to the COVID protocol.

All devotees should wear a mask and maintain a social distance of six feet from each other in an appropriate manner at all times.

Temple, mosque, church, and gurudwara authorities should provide handwashing or hand sanitizer for worshipers at entry and exit points.

It is strictly forbidden to spit inside and outside the premises and to chew paan or ghutka.

The person with SARI / ILI type symptoms should not be allowed inside. Other vulnerable groups of people such as people with co-morbidities, the elderly, pregnant women or children under 18 are advised not to visit religious institutions.

The above guidelines should be strictly followed by all concerned until further notice. Any deviation will result in the withdrawal of this authorization for this institution, added the BMC.

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