Bhubaneswar: With the Odisha government giving the go-ahead for reopening of religious places amid a drop in COVID cases in the state, the Puri administration on Monday opened the gates of temples, masjids, church, gurudwara, mutt, gurukul and ashrams for devotees in the district.
However, Jagannath Temple in Puri will remain out of bounds for devotees and there will be restrictions on their entry to the town during the weekend shutdown. Currently, the weekly shutdown is being imposed in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack with a high caseload.
All rituals of the religious institutions performed by the priests will continue as usual uninterruptedly.
>> Tourists/devotees can visit places of worship across the district, except for Puri town, from 6 am to 8 pm on all days in strict adherence to COVID- 19 protocols.
>> No Prasad/Bhoga will be offered by the devotees, tourists, visitors and others at all religious places of the district.
>> Tourists are also allowed to visit Sun Temple and IOCL Interpretation Centre from 6 am to 8 pm.
>> The managing committee/authorities of the religious institutions will have to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols
>> It is mandatory for tourists, devotees and servitors at all religious places to wear a mask and sanitise their hands before entering the religious places.
>> The social distancing of at least 6 feet between two individuals should be maintained.
>> Public notice should be displayed outside the religious places for creating awareness among the visitors regarding COVID-19 safety protocols.
>> Spitting at religious places will be punishable with a fine in accordance with rules or regulations.
>> Persons above 65 years of age, those with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised against visiting these places.
Notably, the July 21 unlock guidelines state that the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration will take a call on the reopening of the 12th-century shrine in consultation with all stakeholders.