All religious places in Maharashtra will reopen from tomorrow as the state government announced another phase of reopening from October 7, also the first day of Navratri. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, however, has warned people to strictly follow Covid-19 standards despite the relaxations, to prevent the spread of the disease.
1) Maharashtra SOP for Religious Places
• People should always wear face masks and use hand sanitizers. The leadership of religious places will be responsible for implementing these measures, Thackeray said.
• No “prasad” (offerings) will be distributed, no sprinkling of holy water, no touching of statues, idols or holy books, and a staggering number of visitors to maintain social distancing should be done, said the Minister. government.
• A face mask or face covering is mandatory when visiting religious places, he said, adding that the minimum distance between two people should be 6 feet. The state government has advised the elderly, pregnant women and children under 10 to stay at home.
• Shrine management should provide separate entry and exit points for worshipers, if possible, to avoid overcrowding, the order said. People should avoid physical contact while greeting each other, he said.
2) Siddhivinayak, Shirdi: famous temples will reopen
• The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust has announced that the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai will reopen to pilgrims tomorrow. Adesh Bandekar, chairman of the Trust, said that all worshipers will only be admitted inside the temple by pre-booking QR codes on the Shree Siddhivinayak Temple Trust app, adding that only 250 worshipers will receive QR codes for darshan every hour.
• He added that devotees will be required to adopt appropriate COVID behavior, such as social distancing, wearing a mask, etc. Worshipers will only be allowed to enter the temple after the temperature has been checked using a thermal scanner, he said.
• Bandekar said that registration of the app for devotees will begin on October 6 at 12 noon. Then, every Thursday, the app will take the recording for the following week.
• The Shirdi Sai Baba temple will also reopen from tomorrow. The holy place will allow the entry of visitors in compliance with all Covid-19 security protocols. To prevent the spread of Covid-19, Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust has activated an online booking window so that visitors can reserve the time slot for Sai Darshan without queuing.
3.) What is already open in Maharashtra
• The government of Maharashtra has granted relaxations on the Covid-19 lockdown on a gradual basis. The state government had previously authorized the reopening of local trains for frontline workers and essential services, and for citizens who are fully vaccinated, i.e. who received both doses of the Covid vaccine. and finished 14 days after the second firing on August 15.
• Restaurants are allowed to open with 50% capacity with Covid guidelines in place. All employees, working, should be fully immunized. All restaurants can operate all day until 10 p.m., however, parcel services are allowed 24 hours a day.
• All essential and non-essential stores can operate up to 10 p.m. daily. All employees should be fully immunized. Gyms, yoga centers, salons, spas and beauty salons can operate at 50% of their capacity for up to 10 hours daily. All employees should be fully immunized.
• Offices are allowed to operate at 25% of the total workforce, as private offices with staggered working hours can operate 24 hours a day.
• Weddings are permitted with a maximum of 100 people in closed premises such as hotels / wedding halls and a maximum of 200 in open air premises.
• All indoor sports, such as badminton, table tennis, squash, parallel bar, Mallkhamb, are allowed with only two athletes allowed per sport subject. Everyone, including athletes, staff should be fully immunized.
• Maharashtra announced the reopening of schools for grades 5 to 12 in rural areas and 8 to 12 in urban areas from October 4.
4.) What will open from October 22
The state government had earlier announced that theaters and multiplexes would open in Maharashtra from October 22.
5.) Ahmednagar faces the borders
• Due to the high number of cases, strict containment-type restrictions were imposed from Monday to October 13 in 61 villages with more than 10 COVID-19 cases in the Ahmednagar district.
• These villages are in Akole, Karjat, Kopargaon, Newasa, Parner, Pathardi, Rahata, Sangamner, Shevgaon, Shrigonda and Srirampur, said Ahmednagar collector Rajendra Bhosale.
• “The district is witnessing 500 to 800 cases per day and the positivity rate is over 5%. Therefore, instructions were issued to implement precautionary measures in villages with more than 10 active cases. Since the protocols were not fully respected, we imposed strict restrictions in 61 villages of 11 tehsils, ”he said in an order.
• In accordance with the order, all stores except essential stores like medical stores, clinics and diagnostic labs will remain closed from October 4 to 13, while the gathering of more than 5 people was prohibited in these villages as well as sidewalks placed at the entrance and exit. “Emergency services, transport of agricultural products, other essential services have been excluded. Grocery stores are allowed to operate between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. All religious places and schools will be closed during the period, ”the order added.