Nepal | August 06, 2020

India to reopen Taj Mahal with social distancing, masks

Reuters
Share Now:

NEW DELHI: Visitors to the Taj Mahal will have to wear masks at all times, keep their distance and not touch its glistening marble surfaces when India’s 17th-century monument to love reopens on Monday after a three-month COVID-19 shutdown.

Only 5,000 tourists will be allowed in a day, split into two groups, a far cry from peak levels of 80,000 a day who would swarm the mausoleum built in the northern city of Agra by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, in a 22-year effort.

“All centrally protected monuments & sites shall be bound by the protocols like sanitization, social distancing & other health protocols,” the federal tourism ministry said in a tweet.

Authorities are reopening the Taj and other monuments, such as New Delhi’s historic Red Fort, just as India’s coronavirus infections are rising at the fastest pace in three months.

On Sunday, the health ministry reported a record single-day spike of 24,850 new cases and more than 600 deaths, pushing the overall case tally to 673,165, closing in on Russia, the third-most affected country globally.

But the government has been lifting a vast lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion people that has left tens of thousands without work and shuttered businesses.

While international flights remain suspended, domestic travel has been opened up, and the government is hoping visitors will start to trickle back to some popular destinations.

Agra, one of India’s first big clusters of the virus, remains the worst-affected city in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state.

“All around the Taj are containment zones,” said a local district administration official, requesting anonymity, ahead of the monument’s planned reopening.

Containment zones, areas identified as most affected by the virus, remain under strict lockdown, with restricted access and movement of only essential goods and services.

“We don’t expect visitors here because clusters around the Taj, including shops and hotels are closed,” the official said.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Below-strength Man United move into Europa League last eight

MANCHESTER: Former Europa League winners Manchester United booked a quarter-final spot in the tournament after their second-string side laboured to a 2-1 home win over LASK Linz on Wednesday to seal a 7-1 aggregate rout of the Austrian side. United's reward is a clash with FC Copenhagen in Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 381 new cases, 130 recoveries, two fatalities recorded on Wednesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 412,953 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, Read More...

172 people discharged in Tanahun; Nepal's COVID-19 recovery tally hits 15,156

DAMAULI: As many as 172 persons earlier diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, admitted at various healthcare facilities across Tanahun district, have been discharged following recovery, on Wednesday. According to the District Health Office, 17 females and 155 males were discharged today upon Read More...

Kailali's rural municipality reimposes lockdown restrictions until further notice

DHANGADHI: Kailari Rural Municipality in Kailali district has decided to reimpose lockdown restrictions from Wednesday, until further notice. A decision to this effect was taken following the detection of COVID-19 in a rural municipality staffer. According to information officer of the local l Read More...

Police personnel without travel history diagnosed with COVID-19 in Pokhara

POKHARA: A 38-year-old policeman in Pokhara Metropolitan City-3, without any travel history, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, on Wednesday. Following moderate symptoms, the personnel's swab sample had been collected on August 2 which came out positive today. According to the Read More...

US Open, Rafael Nadal,

Twist to the 'GOAT' race as Nadal opts to skip US Open

MADRID: Rafa Nadal's decision to skip the US Open because of health concerns has added another twist to the intriguing three-way battle for the most career men's Grand Slam titles and, in many eyes, the title of Greatest Of All Time (GOAT). Had the 34-year-old Spaniard managed to retain the title Read More...

Indian federal investigator to probe Bollywood actor's death: prosecutor

MUMBAI: India's federal investigative agency will probe the death of a Bollywood actor, its top prosecutor said on Wednesday, the latest twist to a murky case that was reported as a suicide and has dominated Indian social media for over a month. Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, was found dead at his res Read More...

Sunsari issues prohibitory order for five days

DHARAN: Sunsari District Administration Office (DAO) today decided to impose a prohibitory order for five days effective from tonight, considering the possibility of COVID-19 transmission at community level in the area. "The order will be effective from tonight for the next five days in all t Read More...