Culture ministry plans norms for public spaces
According to a senior ministry official aware of the drafting process, the protocols include wearing face masks, thermal screening, social distancing, online purchase of tickets, separate entry and exit points to stop crowding, and access in small batches.Updated: May 22, 2020 04:38 IST
The Union culture ministry is drafting guidelines for people to enter public spaces governed by institutes that come under its regulation -- including national monuments such as the Taj Mahal, galleries such as the National Gallery of Modern Art, and other museums and libraries -- once the national lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19 is lifted.
According to a senior ministry official aware of the drafting process, the protocols include wearing face masks, thermal screening, social distancing, online purchase of tickets, separate entry and exit points to stop crowding, and access in small batches.
“Once the protocols are in place, there will be no entry without masks, and visitors will be allowed entry in batches. Social distancing norms of a distance of at least two metres will have to be followed; there will be thermal screening at entry points, and fumigation at regular intervals,” said the official cited above.
The detailed guidelines are being drafted following a meeting early this week of senior officials and culture minister Prahlad Singh Patel, the official said, adding that they will be sent to the health ministry for approval.
A second official, however, clarified that these cultural spaces will not be open to the public immediately.
“We are waiting for the pandemic to subside, and if there needs to be more wait time, we will have to divert resources on digitising,” said the official.
He added that ministry was also considering creating a way to visit monuments such as the Taj Mahal virtually. “Since the monument attracts hundreds of people daily, so opening it up completely will be a challenge,” the second official said.
Some institutes under the ministry have been facilitating digital experiences since public visits were suspended because if the national lockdown. NGMA exhibited original artworks of Raja Ravi Varma and Jamini Roy, while the Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces (DMCS) launched a short film “A Ray of Genius” to mark the start of the centenary celebrations of Satyajit Ray.