The Uttarakhand Devasthanam Board on Friday issued a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) allowing asymptomatic persons from outside the state to undertake the chardham yatra but with conditions.
According to the revised SOP, asymptomatic people from outside the state who have undergone the RT-PCR test from an ICMR-authorised lab and tested negative 72 hours prior to their arrival in Uttarakhand can undertake a pilgrimage to the shrines after procuring an e-pass from the Devasthanam Board, its CEO, Ravinath Raman, told reporters.
The revised SOP has been issued to give an impetus to the chardham yatra, which commenced on July 1 but was limited to people from Uttarakhand only, he said.
Asymptomatic people from outside the state who have not undertaken the RT-PCR test from an ICMR-authorised lab 72 hours before arrival will have to mandatorily undergo a quarantine before applying for an e-pass, the revised SOP says.
When the COVID-19 situation normalises, more steps will be taken to give an impetus to the chardham yatra, Raman said.
Pilgrims will have to mandatorily carry the e-pass, a photo ID card and the RT-PCR test report in original while travelling to the Himalayan temples, he said.
More than 21,178 e-passes have been issued by the board to pilgrims from within the state since July 1, and more than 10,000 of them have already visited chardham, Raman added.