With the Delhi government granting permission to places of worship to open from Monday, many have prepared to ensure social distancing and sanitisation while others have decided to remain shut.
At the Kalkaji temple, the local management has installed a sanitisation tunnel, which the devotees have to walk through before entering the premises. Apart from this, hand sanitisers have also been kept at various points inside the temple.
The management has also placed stickers on the floor to make sure devotees keep distance from each other. “We won’t let more than 20 people at a time,” said Lokesh Bharadwaj, general secretary of the temple management committee, asserting that all guidelines laid out by the government would be followed.
Only devotees wearing masks would be allowed inside and offerings would be disallowed, Mr. Bharadwaj said. Those entering the premises will also have to get their temperature checked at the entrance and anyone suspected of having an illness would not be allowed. “We will cooperate with the police... their help will be crucial to ensure there is no crowding,” Mr. Bharadwaj said.
An advisory on the entry into the Jama Masjid has also been issued by Deputy Shahi Imam Syed Bukhari. Devotees have been requested to avoid large gatherings and ensure social distancing. People above the age of 65 and below 15 have been asked to take precautions. Stickers have been put on the floor and verandas to ensure people maintain a one-arm distance between themselves during namaz.
Everyone will be required to wear masks, carry sanitisers and avoid standing shoulder to shoulder. The advisory also states that ablution before namaz must be carried out at home before coming to the mosque as services for the same will temporarily remain closed. Devotees have also been asked to bring their own carpets.
The Church of Christ at Chittaranjan Park, on the other hand, is likely to remain shut for one more month at least, caretaker Ravinder Maurya said. “The government may allow places to open, but we all know there is a pandemic and we are not going to open any time soon” he said.