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India approves reopening of ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) protected monuments

From today i.e. 06th July 2020, Ministry of Culture, India has approved the reopening of ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) -protected monuments after a shutdown of approx. more than 100 days.

There are more than 3,000 monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), including the Khajuraho temples, Sanchi Stupa, Red Fort and Qutub Minar etc. As per the notification the monuments will be opened in “compliance of the state and district administration”. While all national monuments open up for the public, Agra’s historical monuments like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri will continue to remain closed until further orders.

Here is the complete list of SOP’s and Guidelines

  • Only those monuments and museums which are in the non-containment zone will be open for visitors.
  • All Centrally protected monuments and sites shall be bound by the protocol issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as also any specific orders of the state and/or District administration.
  • Entry tickets shall be issued by e-mode only. No physical tickets will be issued until further orders.
  • At the parking, cafeteria etc., only digital payment is allowed.
  • Visitors will have to share their phone numbers at the entrance of monuments for the purpose of contact tracing, if required later.
  • There will be a cap on the number of visitors in select monuments. Like the number of visitors for Taj Mahal has been capped at 5,000 a day (in two slots), while that of other popular monuments is between 1,000 and 1,500 visitors in two slots each.
  • The visitors shall follow social distancing. The use of face cover/mask is mandatory. All entrances to have mandatory hand hygiene and thermal scanning provisions. Only asymptomatic persons are allowed.
  • There shall be designated routes for entry & exit and movement within the monument. The route shall be one-way only, with a single line maintaining norms of social distancing.
  • ASI can restrict access to the vulnerable and interior parts of any monument.
  • Visitors shall be asked to stick to time limits inside the monument, as far as possible. The security staff inside the monument shall ensure that there is no crowding at any point.
  • No group photography is allowed within the premises.
  • All Sound and Light Shows and films shows at monuments shall remain suspended till further order.
  • Vehicles shall be parked in designated areas. The contractor who runs the parking area shall collect the parking fee through digital payment only. No physical cash transaction is allowed.
  • Guides and photographers with valid licence are allowed to work inside the monuments.
  • No food/eatables shall be allowed inside the premises.
  • All the staff shall be well protected as per health protocol.
  • Cleaning and sanitisation of monuments and museums, including toilet blocks, benches and frequently used surfaces, shall be done at regular intervals.