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Places of worship reopen in Maharashtra after 8 months

As per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) laid down by the Maharashtra government, religious places located in the containment zones have not been allowed to open. Only asymptomatic people will be allowed inside places of worship, and they will have to enter in a staggered manner.
Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai

Religious places across Maharashtra reopened on Monday after nearly eight months of closure due to the lockdown imposed in a bid to control the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The announcement to reopen religious places in Maharashtra was made by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Saturday.

The gates of the places of worship were opened after midnight for the management officials to clean and sanitise the premises ahead of its reopening for devotees to offer early morning prayers.

As part of the Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs, the governing bodies of the religious places will be responsible for crowd management and people above 65, children below 10, and pregnant women have been advised to stay at home.

Wearing a face mask is mandatory and the visitors are required to strictly follow the social distancing norms. The state government has also asked the management of these places to conduct thermal scanning and provide visitors with hand wash facility or sanitiser.

Touching statues, holy books and idols is prohibited under the guidelines. Also, only recorded devotional music will be played. Choir or singing groups are not allowed.