People are slowly and steadily adapting to the new way of life which includes safety precautions like wearing masks, gloves and sanitizing the hands at regular intervals. After a countrywide lockdown for over three months in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the government as well as the citizens are gearing up to get back into action. The Central government on Thursday issued a slew of directions for reopening of monuments and museums, protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, from July 6. Monuments such as Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Sanchi Stupa, Red Fort, the temples of Khajuraho, etc will reopen across India from Monday, 6 July.
Only those monuments and museums which are in the non-containment zone will be open for visitors, according to the standard operating procedure. There is a cap on the number of visitors in select monuments. Taj Mahal will accept 2,500 visitors, while Qutub Minar and Red Fort will allow 1,500 visitors in two slots each.
Safety Measures you should keep in mind:
- Maintain Social Distancing: Even if you are visiting a monument or a museum in a small group, maintain a preferable distance from each other and enjoy the picturesque view.
- Wear gloves and masks: There is no other way to step out of the house than covering your face and hands with mask and gloves. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose and do 'namaste' when you meet someone rather than shaking hand. Remember- shaking hands when wearing gloves if also not safe.
- Do not touch the walls, railings, benches, photographs, menus, visiting cards or any other thing which is available for everyone to touch. Maintain a safe distance for your own safety.
- In case you happen to come in contact which anything which has been touched by many people before you, sanitize.
Guidelines for reopening Monuments and Museums:
Entry tickets shall be issued by e-mode only. No physical tickets will be issued. At the parking, cafeteria etc, only digital payment will be permitted. "The visitors shall follow social distancing. The use of face cover and mask is mandatory. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene and thermal scanning provisions," it read.
There will be designated routes for entry and exit and movement within the monument. The ASI has the authority to restrict access to vulnerable and interior parts of any monument. "Visitors shall be asked to stick to time limits inside the monument, as far as possible. The security staff inside the monument shall ensure that there is no crowding at any point inside the monument," the guidelines read.
It further added that group photography will not be allowed within the premises. All sound and light and films shows at monuments will also remain suspended till further order. "Vehicles shall be parked in designated areas. The contractor who runs the parking area shall collect the parking fee through digital payment only. No physical cash transaction is allowed," it added.
Guides and photographs who have valid license are allowed to work. No food and eatables are allowed inside the premises. "The cafeteria and kiosk inside the monument shall only serve bottled water on digital payment and shall follow all the protocol. All the staff shall be well protected as per health protocol."
Last month, the Culture Ministry had reopened 820 monuments out of the over 3,000 ASI-maintained monuments.
(With IANS inputs)
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