Entry in shifts, masks, social distancing: Taj Mahal reopens for tourists after six months

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 21, 2020 5:32:01 pm

More than six months after it was closed down for visitors due to Covid-19, the Taj Mahal Monday finally opened its door for the tourists again.

Keeping the ongoing pandemic in mind, the number of visitors per day has been restricted to 5000 by authorities. The tourists are also allowed to be taken in two-shifts of 2,500 each with the tickets being sold online or through the ASI phone app only.

Speaking to news agency ANI, an official from the Archeological Survey of India said that as many as 500 tourists visited the monument during the first shift on Monday.

Visitors were also asked to follow all guidelines issued by the Centre such as social distancing and hand sanitisation and were thermally screened before they were allowed to enter the premises.

Although other ASI-protected monuments in Agra were allowed to open from September 1, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort were closed by the district administrations as they were located close to containment zones.

All centrally protected monuments were shut down on March 17 before the nationwide lockdown came into force to control the spread of Covid-19. This was the first time after the Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971 when the ivory-white marble mausoleum was closed to the public.

According to ASI estimates, the Taj Mahal receives around 70-80 lakh visitors each year, including a large number of foreign tourists who are not likely to come till regular international flights resumes in the country.

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