Centrally protected monuments open from today, 650 people allowed in Taj Mahal
All centrally protected monuments, museums and sites closed for around two months due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic will reopen on Wednesday. An order in this regard was issued by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Monday.
After the order, 3,693 monuments and 50 museums across the country will welcome tourists and visitors.
According to ASI, visitors will be able to book entry tickets online and no offline booking facility has been made available.
The ASI order has mandated strict compliance with the executive orders, if any, issued by the state, district or the disaster management authority. Appropriate guidelines and SOPs issued by Union and states governments, ministries and departments will also be scrupulously followed while regulating the flow of visitors, the order further said.
In accordance with the order, Agra district magistrate Prabhu N Singh said on Tuesday that only 650 people will be allowed to enter the Taj Mahal at a time when the monument reopens for visitors.
Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Agra Circle, Vasant Kumar Swarnakar said that the monument premises will be sanitised three times a day.
"Masks will be mandatory for tourists. Thermal screening of tourists would be done at the gates and they would be sanitised before entering the monument premises," said the official.
"The visitors would not be allowed to touch any object on the monument premises and they would have to follow social distancing norms," he added.
In an order on April 15, the ASI had shut these monuments till May 31 due to surge in Covid-19 cases in the second wave.
Last year, all monuments and sites maintained by the ASI were closed due to the Cpvod-19 pandemic on March 17. They reopened in July with strict restrictions like mandatory wearing of masks, a cap on the number of visitors and social distancing.
The curbs were relaxed later in the year.