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Char Dham Yatra 2022: Covid-19 test or vaccination certificate not must for devotees

New Delhi: The Uttarakhand government has not made a negative Covid-19 report or vaccination certificate mandatory for devotees embarking on the Char Dham Yatra beginning from May 3.

The Pushkar Singh Dhami-led government has asked all the devotees to register on the state’s portal operated by the Tourism Department before their arrival, however, a Covid-19 test or vaccination certificate has not been made compulsory.

On the instructions of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, a meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary SS Sandhu with the concerned officers including the Uttarakhand police chief, secretaries of health and tourism departments, officials of the Mandir Samiti and the district magistrates on Friday night to set out clarity on whether Covid-19 tests of travelers and pilgrims coming from outside Uttarakhand will be required.

Sandhu directed officials to ensure that the Char Dham Yatra is conducted smoothly. As per current guidelines in the state, it is not mandatory for passengers and devotees arriving from the state borders to undergo testing for coronavirus or present a vaccination certificate.

“Checking pilgrims coming from outside the state for a negative Covid report or vaccination certificate will not be mandatory till further orders,” Sandhu said, as per reports.

He said this is done so that devotees do not face any inconvenience on arrival and to avoid crowding on the state’s borders. Sandhu added that the situation will be continuously monitored at the government and administration level.

Char Dham Yatra will begin on May 3 this year with the opening of the Gangotri and Yamunotri temples, while Kedarnath will open on May 6 and Badrinath on May 8.

It is expected that a high number of pilgrims will visit the Himalayan temples this year as the Covid-19 curbs have been lifted. Hotels and Dharamshalas located along the route to the Char Dham Yatra say they are fully booked in advance, PTI reported.