The Uttarakhand government on Friday, in its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Chardham Yatra, made it mandatory for pilgrims to possess a Covid negative report.
According to the SOPs, registration and e-pass will be mandatory for darshan in the four pilgrimages. A Covid negative report is compulsory unless there is a certificate to prove that both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered.
For the three states most affected by corona infection, that is, Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, the negative report of corona test up to 72 hours before the date of travel has been made mandatory, despite both doses of the vaccine.
As per the SOPs, only three devotees will be allowed to have darshan in the Dhams at a time and bathing in the pools is prohibited. For compliance with the arrangements related to the journey, checkpoints will be set up on the travel routes.
Culture, Endowment, Pilgrimage Management and Religious Fair Secretary Harichandra Semwal issued the SOPs for the yatra late on Friday evening. According to the SOPs, strict compliance with the Covid protocol will be ensured for the safe conduct of the journey.
Earlier on June 28, the High Court had put a stay on the Chardham Yatra until further orders on the basis of lack of health services in the yatra districts, lack of adequate preparations to control COVID-19 infection, shortage of doctors and the report of the district administration.
The Nainital High Court on Thursday lifted the ban on Chardham Yatra and allowed only fully Covid vaccinated people with a mandatory COVID-19 negative report for the annual pilgrimage.
After getting permission for the conditional yatra from the High Court, the government had made it clear on Thursday night that the yatra would start from Saturday.
The Chardham Yatra, which includes a visit to the Kedarnath temple, attracts lakhs of tourists and devotees every year from across the country and abroad.Internet Explorer Channel Network