No touching of idols, No prasad: New norms and rules for places of worship

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a new set of guidelines that need to be followed after re-opening of the religious places i.e temples, mosques, Gurudwara and other places of worship from June 8.

The managing committees inside and outside the premises of these places must have strict surveillance that govt laid out rules are being followed by everyone. The Central Government has also granted permission to open shopping malls, restaurants and hotels from June 8.

The MHA declared ‘Unlock- 1’ across the country with effect from June 8 where the nationwide lockdown will be eased to a great extent.

Guidelines issued for places of worship:

  1. All places of worship outside containment zones will be allowed to open.
  2. They have been ordered to follow strict social distancing norms and other preventive measures.
  3. Only asymptomatic cases will be allowed to enter.
  4. Shoes/footwear should preferably be taken off inside own vehicle. Or else, they should be kept in separate slots by the persons themselves.
  5. Staggering of tourists to be done if possible.
  6. If possible, arrangements should be made for separate entry and exit.
  7. For air conditioning, the guidelines of CPWD should be followed. The temperature on all airconditioning devices should be within the range of 24 to 30 degrees Celcius, the ratio should be within the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be the maximum amount as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
  8. Touching of statue/idols/holy books shall not be allowed.
  9. Common prayer mats should be avoided and devotees should bring their own prayer mats.
  10. No physical offerings, like prasad or distribution or a sprinkling of holy water should be allowed inside the religious places.
  11. Community kitchens/ann-Daan/langars should practice social distancing guidelines strictly.
  12. Individuals must maintain a distance of a minimum of six feet.
  13. Use of face covers/masks will be mandatory.
  14. Spitting is strictly prohibited.
  15. All attendees should download the government’s Aarogya Setu app.

In case one is suspected or a confirmed case is found inside the premises:-

  1. Place the ill person during a room or area where they’re isolated from others.
  2. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
  3. Immediately inform the closest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.
  4. A risk assessment are going to be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding the management of the case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
  5. Disinfection of the premises to be haunted if the person is found positive.
  6. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
  7. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
  8. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.
  9. A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding the management of the case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
  10. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.