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After a gap of more than five months, the Delhi government has allowed the reopening of religious places for devotees from today, October 1. The eased-in Covid-related guidelines have come just a week before the Navratri festival. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has issued fresh Covid-9 guidelines for devotees and the authorities of worship places. The DDMA directed the district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police to ensure strict compliance with Covid-appropriate behaviour because of the upcoming festivals.

The DDMA order permitted the entry of devotees to religious places but has prohibited large gatherings.

Since April 19, the religious places in the national capital remained shut due to the higher transmission rate of the Covid-19 infection. However, over the past few weeks, Delhi's daily Covid case count has remained below 50.  The national capital recorded 41 coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 0.06% and zero fatality due to the infection on Wednesday. Delhi has recorded only five fatalities due to the infection in September so far.

Here are the latest Covid-19 guidelines for religious places in Delhi during the festive season:

1. The authority has not granted permission to organise melas, fairs, rallies, and processions during the festivals.

2. Chhat pooja celebration has also been prohibited in public places and people are advised to celebrate the same at their homes.

3. All event organisers will have to obtain requisite permission from the district Magistrate concerned for organising the festival in advance.

4. Capacity of each event site will be decided based on area and social distancing norms. In closed places, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons.

5. Each organiser will have to ensure separate entry and exit at each venue.

6. No person will be allowed in a standing or squatting position. Only sitting in chairs with socially distancing norms will be allowed.

7. It will be mandatory for organisers to videograph the event or programme from the starting to the end on a daily basis.

The activities permitted and prohibited by the DDMA will continue up to October 15 at midnight. The festival season will start with Navratri in October and Durga Puja is celebrated during the same time. Dussehra falls on October 15 and Diwali on November 4 this year. Chhat Pooja is on November 10.

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