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Coronavirus pandemic | Reopening of religious places: Here's all you need to know

The Health Ministry has advised all devotees to remove footwear inside own vehicle before entering place of worship
Jun 5, 2020 / 04:36 PM IST

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday released detailed guidelines to be followed in religious places, which have been allowed to reopen from June 8.

While following social distancing measures, the ministry has asked all establishments to ensure hand sanitiser dispensers at the entrance, marking out specific places where people could queue up and ensure only asymptomatic individuals are allowed inside.

Here are all your questions answered on guidelines pertaining to places of worship:

When can religious places open for public?

All religious places outside of containment zones have been allowed to open from June 8.

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Is there a restriction on people who can visit places of worship?

While all asymptomatic people can visit religious places, pregnant women, children below 10, persons with co-morbidities and those above 65 years of age are advised to stay at home.

Can I visit a temple if I have fever or cough and cold?

No. All devotees will be thermally screened at the entry point and only asymptomatic persons shall be allowed to enter the premises.

Where should I remove my footwear?

If you are travelling to the religious place in your vehicle, then footwear should be taken off inside own vehicle.

Can I remove mask/face cover once I am inside the temple premises?

No. Masks have to be worn at all times.

Will I be given a prayer mat or headscarf?

No. Common prayer mats must be avoided to contain the spread of COVID-19. All devotees have been advised to bring their own prayer mat or piece of cloth which they may take back with them.

Can I touch the idol while seeking blessings?

No. Touching of statues/idols/holy books is strictly prohibited.

Are flower stalls, shops, cafeterias inside premises allowed to open?

Yes. Any shops, stalls, cafeteria outside and within the premises can open. However, they must follow social distancing norms at all times.

Are choir/singing groups allowed to sing?

Yes. They can sing, but the government has recommended playing of recorded devotional music/songs as far as feasible.

Also read: Coronavirus pandemic | Unlock 1.0: As restaurants open from June 8, here's how dine-in experience will change

What about the distribution of prasad?

Physical offerings like prasad and distribution or sprinkling of holy water is not allowed inside the religious place.

Are community kitchens allowed to function?

Yes. Community kitchens/langars at religious places can function on a condition that people follow physical distancing norms while preparing and distributing food.

Is it mandatory to download Aarogya Setu app before visiting a temple?

No. While it is not mandatory, the government has advised installation and use of Aarogya Setu App to all.

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