Nearly five months after the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra was suspended as a precautionary measure amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Yatra will resume from today.
The shrine board has allowed the Yatra with 2,000 pilgrims during the first week.
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board had begun preparations of the resumption of the Yatra months in advance. The temple premises are being regularly sanitised and all the norms amid the COVID-19 pandemic are in place to welcome pilgrims.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set guidelines for the pilgrims visiting the shrine:
1) A maximum of 500 pilgrims per day will be permitted in a graded manner from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
2) Registration of pilgrims should be made only through online mode, in order to avoid any assembly of persons at current counters.
3) For pilgrims coming from outside Jammu & Kashmir, the protocol of 100% compulsory coronavirus antigen testing, as laid down in Government Order Dated 30th July will be followed.
4) Permission to proceed beyond Katra on yatra shall be accorded only when the coronavirus result of these pilgrims is negative.
5) Pilgrims from Red districts of Jammu and Kashmir shall also be compulsorily tested and allowed to proceed on yatra if the result is negative.
A devotee said, “I’m happy that people can visit the temple once again.”
Welcoming the decision to re-open the shrine, a Katra resident said that with this employment will return to the temple town. However, he also said that the government should allow more people to the shrine from outside the Union Territory if they produce a COVID-19 negative certificate.