Uttar Pradesh Government on Saturday declared guidelines for religious places and places of worship amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As per the guidelines, all religious places and places of worship outside coronavirus containment zones will be allowed to open. However, the guidelines have laid down rules for conduct of the devotees inside these places of worship.
The guidelines prescribe use of sanitisers. They mandate that no more than 5 devotees should be present at one location inside the place of worship. As per the guidelines, persons having symptoms of coronavirus will be barred from entering the holy placeIt will be compulsory for devotees to wear face masks and face covers. Maintenance of social distance has been mandated. People in-charge of maintaining places of worship will have to make separate arrangement for entry and exit of the devotees. Devotees will not be allowed to touch idols, holy books etc. placed inside the sanctum sanctorum.
The guidelines prohibit religious congregations. Playing pre-recorded devotional songs is permitted but singing bhajans in group is not. If mats are to be used, each devotee will be required to bring his or her own mat.
Distribution of Prasad and sprinkling holy water has been prohibited. Devotees have been prohibitted from making physical contact with priests and holy men.