The Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand is all set to start from today, 18 September. The decision comes after the Uttarakhand High Court had lifted the ban on the yatra on 16 September. The court had stated that the yatra would follow COVID-19 protocols on its resumption.
According to The Times of India, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that his government would ensure that "everyone follows the COVID protocols and directives" which have been issued by the high court.
Here's all you need to know about the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Chardham Yatra:
Only people who have been fully vaccinated, or carry a COVID-19 negative report, are allowed. Pilgrims will have to carry a vaccination certificate proving they have been administered both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 15 days back. If the pilgrim has not been fully vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test report not older than 72 hours is necessary.
For devotees coming in from Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, entry would be allowed only if the pilgrims are fullly vaccinated and have a COVID-19 negative report.
A limit has been imposed on the number of travellers permitted daily. A cap of not more than 1,000 devotees for Badrinath, 800 for Kedarnath, 600 people for Gangotri, and 400 for Yamunotri has been fixed.
No person will be permitted to bathe in the river or springs in and around the temples.
Only three persons will be allowed at a time inside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrines. Social distancing measures would be maintained among the devotees entering or leaving the temples.
Devotees coming from other states need to register themselves at the Smart City portal available at https://badrinath-kedarnath.gov.in/ for obtaining an e-pass for the Chardham Yatra. The pass would be valid for two days.
The Chardham Yatra was suspended for a period of three months by the high court due to inadequate preparations to control coronavirus infections and shortage of medical facilities.