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Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Reopens With COVID-19 Norms; RT-PCR Tests, Online Booking Mandatory

As Shirdi's Sai Baba Temple reopens, devotees will now require to undergo an RT-PCR test and carry a COVID-19 negative certificate to visit the temple.

Shirdi Sai Baba temple reopens with COVID-19 norms, RT-PCR test & online booking mandatory

Shirdi's Sai Baba Temple will now require devotees to undergo RT-PCR tests at the temple gates. The temple is all set to reopen on Monday, November 16 as the Maharashtra government permits the reopening of religious places across the state under the fresh COVID-19 health and safety protocols. 

While speaking to ANI, the management of the Shirdi temple said that the devotees will have to book their darshan time slot online before visiting the premises. The temple was shut down following the COVID-19 outbreak which led to a complete lockdown across India.

"We are glad that the government has allowed us to open after so many months. Devotees who want to visit will have to do online booking to get a time-slot for the 'darshan'. Along with this, people will also have to show a COVID-negative RT-PCR result at the gate. Children aged eight to ten won't be allowed," informed a representative of Shirdi Sai Baba temple management.

Read | Maharashtra Govt Releases SOP For Preventing Spread Of COVID-19 In Religious Places

Temples reopened in Maharashtra

On Saturday, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had declared that the religious places across the state will be allowed to reopen from November 16 onwards. While the Ministry of Home Affairs had granted permission to reopen religious places across India from June 8 onwards, the Maharashtra government decided against it due to the rising COVID-19 infections.

While making the announcement, CM Uddhav Thackeray told the citizens to stay on guard, follow all health and safety protocols and take any and all necessary precautions. He emphasised the importance of wearing face masks inside religious places as well as avoiding crowding. 

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All trusts and organisations managing the religious places have been advised to ask the people above the age of 65, people with comorbidities, children under the age of 10 years and pregnant women to stay at home and avoid taking any risks. Maharashtra government has also urged the citizens to install and use the Aarogya Setu app as a precautionary measure. Ahead of the reopening the state government also issued a list of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) that need to be adhered to. 

Read | Religious Places To Reopen In Maharashtra From November 16 Amid Declining COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 guidelines for Temple reopening in Maharashtra

  • Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening provisions
  • Separate entry and exits for visitors will be organised
  • Only asymptomatic persons to be allowed in the premises of the place of worship
  • Mandatory use of face masks

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  • Posters on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and video clips spreading awareness about COVID-19 should be regularly played in all places of worship
  • Staggering of visitors will be done by the trust managing the religious place in consultation with the local authorities
  • Footwear should preferably be taken off inside own vehicle
  • Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises

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  • All shops, stalls, etc. outside and within the premises shall follow social distancing norms
  • Before entering the place of worship, people should wash their hands and feet with soap and water
  • The seating arrangement should be made in a way that adequate social distancing is maintained
  • Touching of holy books/ idols etc. is not allowed
  • Large gatherings to remain prohibited

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(With inputs from ANI)

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