The Tripura government has issued 17 new stringent guidelines for puja organisers in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), rapid antigen test has been made mandatory for puja organisers, priests and volunteers by Panchami (October 22).
- Covid-testing teams will be available in all the big budget puja pandals.
- There would be no community puja in the containment zones this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the festival may be celebrated at home.
- If a pandal hopper develops Covid-19 symptoms, he or she would not be allowed to enter the mandap.
- Procession and dance during puja days would be strictly prohibited as part of the SOP.
- The priests will have to chant prayer on loudspeakers so that people’s gathering could be avoided during the puja days and only a limited number of devotees (10/15) will be allowed to offer prayer (Anjali).
- Persons aged 65 and beyond, pregnant women, children aged below 10 years have been advised not to visit the pandals during the festival.
- Fairs near puja mandap are also banned.
- The puja organisers will have to arrange CCTV in and around the pandal and are duty bound to share footage in case of any need.
- Maintaining physical distancing and mask have been made compulsory for the pandal hoppers.