Puri: Devotees will be allowed to enter the Shri Jagannath Temple here from Tuesday (February 1, 2022) from 6.00am to 9.00pm on all days except Sundays. The temple had been closed down January 10 to January 31 as Covid-19 cases shot up in Odisha mainly due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The decision to reopen the temple was taken during the Chhatisha Nijog meeting held January 28, 2022.
The meeting was conducted under the chairmanship of Chief Administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), to review the standard operating procedure (SOP) for management of situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic.
Officials informed that devotees will be required to bring their photo ID Cards including Aadhaar, Voter ID or any other such card. They will also have to carry the final certificate for Covid-19 vaccination or negative RT-PCR reports with the testing carried out 96 hours prior to their visit to the temple. The directive will remain valid till February 17, 2022.
The temple administration added the SOP on vaccination certificate will be reviewed again before February 17 and a revised instruction, if required, will be issued keeping in view the prevailing Covid-19 situation.
Officials also said that masks will be mandatory for devotees at all times both inside and outside the temple. People flouting Covid-19 protocols will be fined, and they may be prevented from entering the temple, they added.
Devotees will have to sanitise their hands before entering the temple premises and they must maintain physical distance at all times as per Covid-19 protocols.
Also, the temple administration has set up camp for administering precaution booster doses for Sevayats between the age group of 18 to 60 years. Efforts will be made to ensure all eligible Sevayats are given the same in due time, keeping in view the health of the Sevayats.
Others who attended the meeting were Puri Collector, Superintendent of Police and senior officials of the SJTA.