The Maha Kumbh, a religious pilgrimage of Hindu seers and devotees, will be held in the northern Indian city of Haridwar between April 1 and 30
It is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years and spans four locations namely Prayagraj, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik.
However, this year the Uttarakhand government has issued guidelines and standard operating protocols (SOPs) for the upcoming pilgrimage festival.
According to the guidelines, every devotee will have to produce negative RT-PCR reports at entry points and checkposts established at the district border.
Also, those who will be staying in an Ashram or Dharamshala in Haridwar, will have to go through thermal screening and every pilgrim must register on their official web portal
Ashram and dharmashala have been asked to allow entry to devotees only after checking e-pass, RT-PCR report and checked-mark on the wrist.
Also, devotees above 65 years of age, pregnant woman and children below 10 years of age will not be allowed to enter the Kumbh Mela
Pilgrims coming from other states will also require to bring along Covid-19 fitness certificates prescribed by their respective state, district, tehsil and health centre
Also, penalties will levied on defaulters for not wearing mask, face cover or for not following social safety and distancing norms. Devotees will be allowed to take bath for maximum 20 minutes only.
The officials are hoping that the strict Covid-19 protocols will discourage people from visiting Kumbh Mela.
A lot of people may avoid hassles of getting RTPCR test and obtaining a fitness certificate. Also, As elderly people are not allowed to enter, there may be a decrease in the number of people visiting this year
Apart from this, Halting points will be set up to control crowd at ghats and inside mela area in three districts of Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal