Bhubaneswar: Odisha will see further relaxation in lockdown restrictions while stepping into August.
Shopping malls, cinema halls, open-air theatres, restaurants and bars will be allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity. Inter-state buses will also ply from next month.
Parks also have been allowed to open.
The state government, however, has left the decision for opening religious institutions on district collectors and municipal commissioners, depending on the local situation.
“Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Puri and Shree Lingaraj Temple Administration, Bhubaneswar may decide opening of temples under their management for public darshan in consultation with concerned stakeholders and in compliance with COVID safety protocols and appropriate restrictions,” said Special Relief Commissioner (SCR) P K Jena.
Offering prasad in the temple, however, is prohibited, he added.
It had been around 100 days since Srimandir is out of bounds for devotees. The SJTA had initially barred entry of devotees into the shrine till May 15 due to an upsurge in the new COVID cases. The restriction was then extended till June 15. However, the ban on public darshan of the sibling deities continues till date.
All daily rituals are being conducted as usual with help of servitors and temple officials,
Separate restrictions were also announced for the Pilgrim Town in view of Rath Yatra earlier this month.
Notably, the weekend shutdown will continue in Puri during the month of August, while night curfew will be imposed from 8 pm to 6 pm.