A participant tries to control a bull during the annual bull taming 'Jallikattu' festival in  Allanganallur village on the outskirts of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on January 17, 2020.
A participant tries to control a bull during the annual bull taming 'Jallikattu' festival in Allanganallur village on the outskirts of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on January 17, 2020.
Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP

Chennai: 'Jallikattu,' the popular bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu, could be held next month by following the guidelines imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said on Wednesday.

A maximum of 300 participants would only be allowed for Jallikattu and 150 for 'Erudhu Vidum Nigazhchi', another variety of the sport.

The government also said the spectator capacity is restricted to 50 per cent and they will be allowed only after a thermal scan and all should wear a mask. Spectators shall be subjected to thermal scanning before entry into the open spaces earmarked for the events and they must follow requisite social distancing and wear masks, the government said in an official release.

The participants should necessarily possess a COVID-19 negative certificate from government authorised labs.

The bull tamers should also test themselves for coronavirus infection at a government-recognised laboratory and only when they are confirmed to not have the virus infection, they will be allowed to participate, the government said.

There are 235 COVID laboratories in Tamil Nadu.

A detailed Standard Operating Procedure for the conduct of the sport in January 2021 would be issued separately, the government said.

The sport is traditionally held coinciding with 'Pongal', the harvest festival in the Tamil month of 'Thai' in January.

Alanganallur and Palamedu are among the regions in Tamil Nadu that have been hosting the events for ages.

(With inputs from agencies)

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