All monuments, including the world-renowned Taj Mahal and Delhi’s Red Fort, will be reopened to the public from Monday for the first time since the country went into lockdown in March to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Over 3,400 monuments were shut down by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) on March 17, days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown.
Some 820 religious places under the ASI were reopened when the government announced a graded exit from the total shutdown under “Unlock1”.
The rest of the monuments can reopen, the government has said, but states are free to decide whether to keep them closed based on the coronavirus situation.
Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, Pralhad Singh Patel, announced the decision on Twitter.
“Photos of Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh), Purana Quila (Delhi), Khajuraho (world heritage monument). I have decided that from July 6 all monuments can reopen with precautions,” Mr Patel tweeted.
सांची (मध्यप्रदेश),पुराना किला (दिल्ली),खजुराहो (विश्व धरोहर) के प्रतीकात्मक चित्र।मैने @MinOfCultureGoI@ASIGoI के साथ निर्णय लिया है कि आगामी ६जुलाई से सभी स्मारकों को पूर्णसुरक्षा के साथ खोले जा सकता है @PMOIndia@JPNadda@incredibleindia@tourismgoi@MinOfCultureGoI@BJP4MPpic.twitter.com/opPzj5Mg7l
— Prahlad Singh Patel (@prahladspatel) July 2, 2020
Popular religious destinations like Tirumala Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh opened last month with measures like PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) suits for temple staff, physical distancing rules and fewer tickets.
On June 30, the government announced the second phase of the phased exit from restrictions except in containment zones.
Schools, colleges, metro services, cinema halls, swimming pools, bars and assembly halls remain closed, but night curfew has been relaxed. Shops, depending upon the area, can have more than five people at a time.