Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government decided to permit devotees to Sabarimala with strict COVID-19 protocols from November 16.

According to reports, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to go ahead with the pilgrimage season by allowing devotees to the barest minimum.

The report added that there will not be any ban on devotees from other states. Virtual queue facility of the police department will be applicable for the Darshan.

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It is also to be noted that devotees will not be allowed to rest on the premises of the temple. So, they will stay in the guesthouses and other dwelling units in the Sannidhanam.

The state health department will set up testing centres to ensure that COVID-19 positive pilgrims do not enter the state.

The TDB will look into collecting ghee for ‘abhishekam’ at a designated place and returning it to the pilgrims.

This time, the dip in river Pampa before trekking up the holy Sabarimala hills is likely to be cancelled due to COVID scare.