For those of you who were wondering if you could go on your annual Vaishno Devi Yatra this year, here is some good news for you. The pilgrimage to the holy site resumed on August 16, nearly five months after it was suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Check out all the details here. By Amitha Ameen
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The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Jammu, and Kashmir on Monday announced the resumption of the annual Vaishno Devi Yatra by opening up online registration and helicopter bookings. The bookings will be available from August 26 to September 5 for pilgrims.
Pilgrims without a COVID-19 negative test report will not be allowed — as stated by Ramesh Kumar Jangid, Chief Executing Officer of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Jammu and Kashmir (as reported by ANI). “All devotees coming from outside Jammu and Kashmir for Vaishno Devi Yatra require valid COVID-19 negative test report not more than 48 hours older at the time of arrival. Without negative test reports, they will not be allowed for the yatra,” he said.
Further, people above the age of 60 years, children below the age of 10 and pregnant women will not be given permission to visit the shrine. And, the capacity of pilgrims from outside the state, which was earlier capped at 100, maybe increased after a review, but will not exceed 500 until September (as reported on Times Now News). As for the residents of the state, currently, out of the 2,000 devotees that are allowed to enter, 1,900 are locals from Jammu and Kashmir itself.
Earlier, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha offered prayers at the shrine after which he inspected the facilities that are in place for the safety of the pilgrims. The shrine too added that it is abiding by all the necessary precautions to contain community transmission.