Home / News / India /  Navratri 2021: Temples reopen, Durga Puja carnival cancelled. Check latest Covid SOPs in your state

All the religious places in Maharashtra have reopened on Thursday at the beginning of the Navratri 2021 festival. The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government had announced promised last month that it would allow the reopening of places of worship for the devotees from October 7. However, the state government has issued detailed guidelines for the management, for district administration and the general public amid the fear of third Covid-19 wave.

Not just Maharashtra, other states like West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh have also issued a detailed Standard operating procedure (SOPs) to prevent the Covid-19 transmission. The Government of India has already suggested allowing a low-key celebration during the festive season as the threat of the 3rd Covid-19 wave looms.

Here's a detailed Covid-19 guidelines issued by states during Navratri:

MAHARASHTRA

- No distribution of 'prasad' (offerings), no sprinkling of Holy water, no touching of idols or holy books. Choir or singing groups are not allowed.

-Face masks are mandatory while visiting religious places.

-Children below 10 years of age, senior citizens, and pregnant women should avoid visiting religious places.

-The management of shrines should provide separate entry and exit points for devotees to avoid crowding.

- Religious congregation is prohibited.

-Common prayer mats should be avoided. Devotees should get their mats.

-Mumbai's Siddhivinayak temple SOPs: All devotees will be allowed only through pre-booking QR codes on Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust's app. Only 250 devotees will be issued QR codes every hour for darshan.

-Shirdi Sai Baba: A maximum of 15,000 devotees is to be allowed in the Shirdi Sai Baba temple daily. During the aarti, a maximum of 90 people will be allowed inside the temple. The temple administration has fixed entry from entrance number 2, while exit will be facilitated through exit gates numbers 4 and 5.

- Mumba Devi temple: The temple will open for fully vaccinated devotees. The unvaccinated devotees will have to show a Covid-19 negative certificate.

WEST BENGAL

- The Durga Puja pandals would be kept open from all sides and no cultural programme will be held.

-The state government has banned the annual Durga Puja immersion carnival.

-There should be separate entry and exit arrangements with separate gates.

-Mingling and crowding should be avoided at all places.

-Floor markings and other signages should be made on entry and exit routes and assembly points to ensure compliance with physical distancing norms.

-Priests to use microphones to utter the mantra so that the sound reaches worshippers standing even far away.

-Use of masks would be compulsory for all visitors visiting the pandals.

-Electronic and social media should be used by the organizers and public authorities to make people aware to avoid large assembly and crowding on roads and near pandals.

DELHI

- The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) permitted the entry of devotees to religious places but has prohibited large gatherings.

- The government prohibits melas, fairs, rallies, and processions during the festivals.

-Chhat pooja celebration has also been prohibited in public places.

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

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

-Organisers need to record the event or programme from the starting to the end daily.

MUMBAI

- The city's civic body has banned Garba events during Navratri.

-Height of Durga idols to be up to 4 feet for community mandals, and up to 2 feet at home.

-At the time of 'aarti' (a ritual of worship), not more than 10 people should be present at the venue.

-Immersion of household idols should be done at homes by devotees if they can't go to the nearest immersion point.

-Only five people can take part in the immersion of household idols and 10 devotees in those installed by community groups.

-People taking part in immersion should be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

-If any community mandal installing idols falls under the Covid-19 containment zone, it will have to immerse them in an iron water tank in their premises.

GUJARAT

-The Gujarat government prohibits Garba events at commercial venues.

-The government has allowed traditional Garba events in residential societies and on streets with a limit of 400 participants.

-Every garba participant should be fully vaccinated against coronavirus infection.

BENGALURU

-The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said that not more than 50 people will be allowed during prayers.

- The idol size should not exceed four feet.

- The municipal body prohibited the distribution of sweets, fruits, and flowers.

-Puja associations should issue invitation cards for guests with specific timing slots to not breach 100 numbers at a time.

-Puja associations should not allow more than 10 members at a time for Debi Boron. Sindur Khela has been restricted to a maximum of 10 persons at a time.

-Puja associations would have to mandatorily do thermal screening and sanitisation for all visitors to the entry gate.

UTTAR PRADESH

- The idols should be installed in the traditional but empty space, their size should be kept as small as possible.

-As much as possible small vehicles should be used for the immersion of idols.

-Minimum number of people should be involved in the immersion programme.

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