Covid-19: Religious institutions reopen in Bhubaneswar


Bhubaneswar: All religious institutions in Bhubaneswar reopened for devotees from Monday with strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols.

The religious institutions remained closed during the second wave of COVID-19.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued guidelines in this regard after a consultative meeting with relevant stakeholders of all religious groups.

However, the Lingaraj Temple will reopen for the devotees from September 1, as per a decision taken on August 18 after a meeting of the Lingaraj Temple Trust Board.

The detailed guidelines for reopening of the religious institutions in Bhubaneswar:

1. All the temples of Bhubaneswar within the jurisdiction of BMC will reopen with strict observance of COVID—19 safety protocols. However, no devotee shall be allowed inside the Garva Griha of the temple area and will be allowed “Darshan” from a safe distance only. There shall be no offerings like “Bhoga” etc in the temple. Shree Lingaraj Temple Administration, Bhubaneswar can take appropriate decision for the opening of their temple on or after 23-08-2021.

2. At Lord Lingaraj temple at any point of time maximum of 100 nos. of devotees will be allowed from Singhadwar to Ada- Katha. Sahan darshan / Garvagruha darshan will be completely prohibited. Similarly, no offering to the Lord shall be accepted by the Sebayats and only Darshan will be allowed. BMC will do the necessary barricading outside the temple and hand it over to Police for control and restriction on the movement of the public.

3. Similarly, all other religious institutions like Mosque/Church/Gurudwara will also be allowed to open from 23-08-2021.

4. The religious institution authorities shall ensure that only that many devotees are allowed inside their premises so that social distancing of 6 feet among them is maintained. In no case, social distancing norms should be allowed to be violated.

5. At any point in time, not more than 25 persons will be allowed to be congregated at any religious institutions like Temple/Mosque/Church/Gurudwara.

6. All Temple/Mosque/Church/Gurudwara authority shall ensure RT-PCR testing of their priests/sebayats and only RT-PCR negative and Final COVID vaccination certificate holder will be allowed to perform rituals. The Priests/Sebayats shall have to put on masks at all times as per COVID protocol.

7. All devotees will have to wear masks and maintain social distancing of six feet from each other appropriately at all times.

8. The Temple/Mosque/Church/Gurudwara authorities shall make provision for handwashing/hand sanitizer for the devotees at the entry and exit points.

9. Spitting inside & outside the premises and chewing of Pan/Ghutka is strictly prohibited.

10. The person with SARI/ILI like symptoms shall not be allowed inside. Other vulnerable groups of people such as people with co-morbidities, old age persons, pregnant women or children below 18 years of age are advised not to visit religious institutions.