Puri Jagannath Temple Reopens For Devotees After COVID Pause

The Lord Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri reopened for devotees with strict adherence to COVID-19 norms on February 1. With the steep rise in Covid-19 cases in Odisha, the Jagannath temple had been shut for devotees from January 10 to January 31. However, the Chhatisha Nijog at its meeting on January 28 decided to reopen the temple for the public following protests by local traders, who depend on the temple for their livelihood.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure devotees have a smooth darshan of lords. Devotees have been allowed to enter the temple from 6 am.

The public darshan will continue till 9 PM on all days when the temple is open for devotees. However, it will remain closed for the public on all Sundays for sanitation activities as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 disease.

As per the SOP, all devotees will be required to bring their photo ID card along with a final certificate of Covid-19 vaccination (of having taken two doses) or Covid-19 negative certificate (RT-PCR) of testing done within 96 hours before the visit.

All devotees must wear masks at all times, inside and outside the temple. People flouting the norms will be fined, and can be refused entry, it said. Devotees will have to sanitise their hands before entering the temple. There will be strict enforcement for ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour by all.

Meanwhile, the temple administration has set up a camp for administering precaution doses to Sevayats in the age group of 18 to 60 years.

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