The government of Kerala announced the steps to conduct the annual pilgrimage season of Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple.
The government of Kerala announced that the 2 months long pilgrimage season will be held strictly adhering to Covid-19 protocol. The government also announced that steps will be taken where those inflicted with the virus will not participate in the event and according to the officials, those below 10 and above 60 years of age will not be allowed to take part in the pilgrimage.
The government also said due to rising coronavirus cases across the country, only limited pilgrims will be allowed and those people should register via virtual queue system will be allowed entry. After a meeting with various departments, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that pilgrims will not be allowed to stay back at the temple premises after darshan. Meanwhile, the Health Department is studying if climbing hills wearing masks has any repercussion.
Devotees visiting the temple will not be allowed to take a dip in river Pamba, instead, shower facilities will be allowed at Erumely and Pamba to take bath. Special arrangements will be made to perform offerings of Neyyabhishekam and Annadanam to the devotees. To prevent the spread of the virus, drinking water will be provided in steel water pots to the pilgrims. Local outlets from Supplyco and Consumerfed have set up kiosks to provide essential items. A committee has been set up to check how many people will be allowed from different states to attend the pilgrimage. A virtual meet with other ministers of states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry by Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran to discuss pilgrims from respective states.