Puri: The Jagannath Temple in remain to remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays in view of the soaring COVID-19 cases in Odisha.
The restriction will come into force from April 24, the temple administration informed.
This was decided at a virtual meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog on Friday in presence of SJTA Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar, District Collector Samarth Verma, SP Kanwar Vishal Singh and representatives of servitors.
No one will be allowed inside the shrine without a mask and fines will be collected from violators.
To avoid large gatherings in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, devotees will be allowed darshan from Bahar Katha.
It will be mandatory for devotees from outside Odisha to produce RT-PCR negative report or final vaccination certificate (after two doses of vaccination) for entry into the shrine. No decision has yet been taken with regards to people from Puri.
A seven-member committee will be formed to ensure strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour inside the temple premises.
“The servitors who have visited Kumbha Mela in Haridwar will have to undergo COVID-19 test,” sevayat Gourahari Pradhan told a local news channel.
The Chhatisa Nijog is consulting stakeholders and representative of various organizations on closing the temple for devotees, if a situation arises, he added.
Notably, 10 members of the servitor families, five temples employees and 10 staff of the shoe stand near the shrine had recently tested positive for the virus.