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5,000 visitors, two slots, fee hike -- Strict COVID-19 measures as Taj Mahal reopens after six months

BusinessToday.In     September 21, 2020

After being closed to tourists and the general public for approximately six months, Taj Mahal reopened on Monday. In an attempt to follow COVID-19 precautionary guidelines, not more than 5,000 visitors will be allowed in a day. Visitors shall be allowed in two slots- pre-lunch and post-lunch that will have a maximum of 2,500 visitors.

Indian visitors will now have to pay Rs 50 per ticket for touring Taj Mahal whereas for visiting the main mausoleum, they will have to pay an additional Rs 200. In the pre-COVID days, only foreign tourists had to pay an extra amount to enter the main mausoleum.

Once tickets for the first slot are sold, tickets for the second slot will be issued, according to Vasant Swarnkar, superintending archeologist for ASI's Agra circle. Besides this, there will be no window ticket sales and visitors can scan the code to buy tickets or book online via the ASI website or mobile app. While no goods shall be allowed inside the historical site, an ambulance would be ready at gates.

Group photographs are not also encouraged. Strict COVID-19 protocol for checking tourists will be followed. Strict vigil is being kept to ensure that tourists don't touch railing and walls of Taj Mahal. Used tissue papers, masks, shoe covers and gloves will be dumped in the garbage bin.

Although a majority of historical sites and monuments falling under the ASI were opened since July 6, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort remained shut since they fell under containment zone. One of the seven wonders in the world was shut due to the rapid outbreak of novel coronavirus on March 17.

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