Masks, Digital Payments Part of SOP for Visiting Monuments

MK Digital Line
Centrally-protected monuments will be opened to the public from July 6 after being closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visitors will have to wear masks, buy tickets online and not pose for any group photos, according to the Union Culture Ministry.

Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel announced on Thursday that all monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would be opened from July 6. 

Last month, the ASI had re-opened 821 monuments that had places of worship after a decision by the Union Home Ministry.

Now, all 3,691 monuments and sites of the ASI would re-open, subject to the rules of the Home and Health Ministries, the Minister said.

According to the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Culture Ministry, monuments in containment zones would remain closed to the public and the decision of local administrations would apply. 

Entry would be restricted from a maximum of 5,000 persons a day, at the Taj Mahal, to 2,000 at the rest of the ticketed monuments like the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, the Sun Temple in Konark and the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi.

Entry would be through e-tickets and payment at parking facilities, cafes, etc., would be through digital modes only, the SOP said. Social distancing, use of masks, thermal scanning, and hand sanitisers at entry points would be mandatory.

Within the sites, designated entry, exit and movement routes would be structured to cautiously maintain social distancing. 

Visitors would be given limited time to spend inside the monument and “no group photography” would be allowed in the premises, the SOP said.

No food would be allowed on the premises and the cafes would only sell bottled water, it said.

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