With Durga Puja round the corner, the Tripura government has issued 17 more 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.