Dehradun | Jagran News Desk: The Uttarakhand government on Friday announced that the Char Dham Yatra, the annual pilgrimage to four holy shrines, will commence from September 18 after its prolonged suspension in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The announcement to start the pilgrimage came a day after Uttarakhand High Court lifted the ban on the Char Dham Yatra and allowed only fully Covid vaccinated people with a mandatory COVID-19 negative report for the annual pilgrimage.

In line with its announcement to start the Char Dham Yatra, the Uttarakhand government had on Friday night issued detailed Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) to start the yatra from today with strict adherence to COVID-19 norms. The pilgrimage will be open till November 4. The yatra remained suspended for months due to the pandemic in 2020 and opened in the month of June with a total of 3,21,609 devotees visiting temples during the entire season amid the Covid-induced restrictions.

Check full guidelines for Char Dham Yatra 2021 here:

A cap of 1,000 pilgrims daily on Badrinath, 800 on Kedarnath, 600 on Gangotri and 400 on Yamunotri has been imposed.

Showing a document certifying administration of both doses of the anti- Covid vaccine at least 15 days back or a negative RT/PCR/TrueNat/CBNAAT/RAT Covid test report not older than 72 hours will be compulsory for every pilgrim visiting the shrines.

Pilgrims from inside the state will not be required to register on the Smart City portal but it will be compulsory for those coming from outside. The e-pass can be obtained by visiting - www.devasthanam.uk.gov.in.

Devotees will have to upload their government-approved identity card and negative RT-PCR/ vaccination report in order to obtain the e-pass.

Children and ailing senior citizens will not be allowed to make the pilgrimage - the SOPs said.

Only three people will be allowed to enter the temples at respective shrines.

Thermal screening, sanitisation and social distancing have been made mandatory during the Char Dham Yatra.

Visitors will have to wear masks while taking on the annual pilgrimage

Entry to the sanctum sanctorum has, however, been barred in light of COVID-19. Devotees have also been asked to not touch holy objects such as bells once inside the temple premises in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan