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COVID-19: TDB announces precautionary measures

Revised timings, entry restrictions will be in force till March 31

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has announced precautionary measures in temples including revised timings and entry restrictions for devotees in view of the COVID-19 threat. They will be in force till March 31.

Devotees will not be allowed inside Administrative Officer-grade temples and Special Grade-temples till March 31. The restriction will also be applicable to the Sabarimala temple festival which begins on March 29, TDB said in a statement. Poojas will be held in all the temples.

Daily rituals

Temples will remain open only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. The board has advised temples to plan daily rituals in accordance with the revised hours.

TDB has asked temples to scale down festivals and restrict them to the temple premises. Temples have been instructed to postpone offerings booked in advance and also cancel the ‘Annadanam’ for the time being in view of the threat.

‘Bali’ rituals will not be held at the temples at Thiruvallam, Thirumullavaram and Varkala. The ‘Dikkubali’, part of the festival at the Vellayani temple, also has been put off. Further, temples have been instructed not to parade elephants during festivals.

Fee to be returned

Additionally, TDB will return the booking fee for auditoriums and marriage halls wherever weddings have been put off on account of COVID-19.

As part of a circular issued on Friday, Saturdays will be holidays for TDB staff until March 31. All staff other than Group Assistant Devaswom Commissioners and Administrative Officers need appear for duty only on alternate days. TDB staff will also be issued face masks and sanitiser as part of the precautions.

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