Religious places in Maharashtra, which have been shut since a COVID-19 lockdown was imposed in March, are set to reopen from Monday during ongoing Diwali festival.
As per the standard operating procedures released by the state government, religious places located out of COVID-19 containment zones will be allowed to remain open as per the timings decided by authorities, and devotees will be allowed inside in a staggered manner.
No physical offerings such as ‘prasad’ distribution or sprinkling of holy water will be allowed inside the religious place.
The state government has over the past few months been firm on not reopening places of worship, fearing that large gatherings, especially during the festival season, could turn into Covid super-spreaders.
Now, with the government allowing these religious places to open, all the people connected with them, including workers and visitors, have been asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing strictly. Proper disposal of the face covers should be ensured, the guidelines state.
Visitors have also been advised to use Aarogya Setu app and preferably take off their shoes in their own vehicle before entering the place of worship.