The 11-day annual festival of the shrine Basilica at Velankanni here would be held from August 29 without devotees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Collector of Nagapattinam district Dr Arun Thamburaj said on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters here, he said only members of the church administration would be conducting the festival between August 29 and September 8. He said the lodges and households have been instructed not to put up anyone from outside the district during the festival days. Shops and restaurants also would not be allowed to remain open during the period, he said. The Bishop of Thanjavur would hoist the sacred flag on August 29 and the festival would be streamed live through the website of the church.