Vijayawada: Kerala has set new guidelines for Sabarimala pilgrims, making Covid-19 tests mandatory for the visit.

Devotees who want to visit Sabarimala, need to mandatorily register themselves with the Kerala State police on the virtual queue portal.  Only 1,000 pilgrims per day on week days and 2,000 on weekends will be allowed to register on this portal on the first come first served basis. 

The pilgrims will get the clearance for the visit to the temple only if they upload Covid negative certificate obtained 48 hours before registration. For registration, devotees can visit http://sabarimaonline.org.

Children below the age group of 10, senior citizens above 60 years and those with co-morbidities are strictly barred, they added.

Every year, the 41-day annual pilgrimage to Sabarimala begins in mid-November. Lakhs of devotees from across the country make the journey. This year, the number of visitors has been capped because of the pandemic.

Accordingly, K Dayanand, the commissioner for the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Department only people who produce a medical certificate stating that they were Covid-19 negative 48 house before the visit will be permitted for the darshan. Devotees can also undergo a rapid antigen test near entrance points. They will have to pay for this test. “Pilgrims with BPL or Ayushman Bharat cards can seek a free test,” he added.