Bhubaneswar, Aug 4 (IANS) The Shree Jagannath temple in Odisha's Puri will be reopened for devotees from August 16 with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols, an official said.
The temple has been closed to devotees since April 24 in view of Covid's second wave.
Only Puri residents will be allowed to the temple for 'darshan' from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first five days (August 16 to 20), Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Krishan Kumar said.
The temple will remain closed for the devotees on August 21 & 22 in view of weekend shutdown in the town and on the occasion of Janmashtami (August 30). From August 23, all devotees will be allowed to the temple, Kumar said.
However, RTPCR negative report obtained within the last 96 hours or final vaccination certificate (after receiving two jabs) is mandatory to enter the temple, he said.
The devotees will be allowed entry into the temple after proper checking of identity proof, hand sanitisation, and mandatory wearing of face masks.
However, devotees will not be allowed to have Mahaprasad in the temple premises now. All other restrictions imposed by the state government will be enforced for the devotees, the chief administrator said.
The situation will be again reviewed after one month and accordingly, further steps will be taken, he added.
Meanwhile, the state government has also decided to reopen all professional institutions for conduct of physical classes of final year students from August 9.
In addition to commencement of physical classroom teaching for UG, PG, Diploma and ITI courses, research activities will also commence in physical mode from the same date.