Famous Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai will reopen on Thursday, October 7, for devotees, reported news agency ANI.
All devotees will be allowed only through pre-booking QR codes on Temple Trust's app, Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust told ANI. Only 250 devotees will be issued QR codes every hour for darshan.
"The devotees will have to follow COVID-appropriate behavior such as social distancing, wearing mask etc. The devotees will be allowed inside the temple only after checking temperature using the thermal scanner," Adesh Bandekar, President of Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust, told news agency ANI.
He also said that the registration of devotees on the app will begin on October 6 at 12 pm. "Thereafter, every Thursday, the app will accept the registration for the ensuing week," he added.
City's Mumba Devi temple will also open from October 7. Devotees can register on the official website of the temple at - https://mumbadevi.org.in. The temple will open for fully vaccinated devotees. Besides, the unvaccinated devotees will have to show a Covid-19 negative certificate. The temple administration has informed that flowers, garlands and prasad will not be allowed inside the temple.
The SoP issued by the Maharashtra government:
Last month, the Maharashtra government had announced that all religious places in the state will be allowed to open for the public from October 7 with COVID-19 protocols.
From the first day of Navratri, that is from October 7, all the religious places of worship will be reopened keeping in view of strict adherence of COVID-19 protocols, as per a press statement in Marathi by the Chief Minister's Office.
In this regard, the Chief Minister said that after combating the second wave, we have now planned to fight the possible third wave. "But gradually we have been taking care of everything and relaxing the restrictions in many cases. Although the number of Coronavirus patients is currently declining, we need to be more careful. Even if religious places are open to the devotees, the guidelines of COVID-19 must be followed." The management committee of religious places will be held accountable if any flaw surfaces while practicing COVID protocols, it said.
The government issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for devotees and officials managing places of worship to ensure strict implementation of coronavirus-related protocols and curb the spread of the infection.
These strict measures include non-distribution of 'prasad' (offerings), no sprinkling of holy water, no touching of statues, idols or holy books and staggering the number of visitors to maintain social distancing, a government order said.
Face mask or covering of the face is mandatory while visiting religious places, it said, adding the minimum distance between two persons should be 6 feet.
The state government advised senior citizens, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age to remain at home. The management of shrines should provide separate entry and exit points for devotees, if possible, to avoid crowding, said the order.
People should avoid physical contact while greeting each other, it said. "Touching of statues, idols or holy books will not be allowed. If possible, people should carry their own prayer mats," the order said.
(With inputs from PTI)