Tamil Nadu, which has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, released guidelines for the opening of religious places today — nearly a month after the Central government allowed it. Temples in the state are mostly expected to open on July 1 — the day the second phase of unlock rolls across the country.
There will be no touching of idols, distribution of prasad, offering of coconuts and sprinkling of holy water, the government of E Palaniswami said, going by the Central guidelines that advocated strictest social distancing. In line with that, there will be no hugging, shaking hands or sitting shoulder to shoulder. People have been advised to leave their footwear in the car and bring their own prayer mats.
The Central guidelines, issued at the beginning of this month, had also expressly barred religious gatherings and other occasions where a crowd might gather, as part of safety measures against the infection. Large gatherings, including religious congregations, still remain prohibited.