Devotees will be allowed to visit Sabarimala hill shrine from December 27 only after producing a COVID-negative certificate following an RT-PCR test, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) said, even as the Kerala High Court granted permission to allow 5,000 pilgrims to visit the temple from Sunday.
TDB president N Vasu said devotees must carry a COVID-negative certificate after conducting an RT-PCR test not more than 48 hours prior to their visit to the temple.
"In view of the Makaravilakku festival season from December 31 to January 19, 2021, devotees who do not have an RT-PCR-negative certificate will not be allowed to climb the hill," the board president said.
Earlier, negative certificate from antigen test was enough for the devotees to visit the shrine.
Mr Vasu added the government has given Rs 50 crore for the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
Meanwhile, after the high court order, pilgrims will be allowed to enter the temple after making all necessary arrangements.
Till today, 2,000 pilgrims were allowed to visit the temple from Monday to Friday and 3,000 were permitted on weekends.
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