The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday issued detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines in view of the upcoming festivals over the next two months, based on the guidelines stipulated by the Centre. Organisers have been asked to make proper arrangements for maintaining social distancing, thermal checks, sanitisation and “contactless payment”. The organisers have also been asked to make “isolation room or area” at venues for those who show “Covid-like symptoms”, till medical checkup of the person is done.
The guidelines issued by Chief Secretary R K Tiwari pointed out that Navratri, Maha Ashtami Dussehra and Barawafat [Eid Milad-Un-Nabi] were coming up this month, while November would see Diwali, Dhanteras, Govardhan Puja as well as Chhath Puja, during which public gatherings would happen.
While public gatherings would not be allowed in containment zones, the fresh guidelines require organisers to make detailed site plans, specifying how social distancing would be maintained, ensuring thermal scanning, sanitisation etc. They should make two separate gates for arrival and exit of people. If anyone, including the staff, is found showing Covid-like symptoms, they would be politely asked to leave, the guidelines state.
Cross-ventilation would have to be maintained the sites and disposable cutlery should be used for providing drinking water or any eatables at the site.
Frequently used areas and things such as doors, chairs, handles, barricades etc would have to be sanitised frequently, whereas organisers also have to install CCTVs.
Organisers have been asked to ensure that the idols should ideally be small in size and social distancing is maintained during immersion of idols, too. It will be the responsibility of the organisers to provide face masks and other protective gear for staff at the site. Instructions have also been issued to install the idols at vacant spots and not to place these at road crossings.
For all festivals, organisers of public events such as marches, rallies, Ram Leela procession, installation of idols etc, would have to take prior permission of district magistrates and in the case of Lucknow and Noida, permission of the police commissioner.
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