The Tamil Nadu government has allowed all places of worship in the state to remain open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 1. Earlier places of worship in the state were only kept open from Monday to Thursday.
In a new order which will come into effect from November 1,the state has permitted commercial establishments to remain open till 11 pm with existing standard operating procedures for these establishments to follow.
It has also allowed schools, including kindergarten schools and anganwadis to re-open with fully vaccinated staff and cooks. Private tuition centres can also open from November 1.
Beaches will be opened to the public on Sundays.
Upto 100 people will be permitted to attend a wedding and related events and upto 50 people will be allowed to attend funerals at a time, as per the new order. Further, private events and exhibitions will also be permitted and the government will also hold grievance redressal camps at district collectorates.
The order further adds that concerned authorities in these places should ensure that visitors are double vaccinated.
The DMK‚Äôs move to open all places of worship comes before the festival season in the state. The new TN government order has specified that the ban on mass gathering for festivals, political, community and cultural events will continue.
The earlier decision to close temples, mosques, churches and other places of worship on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) was taken by the ruling DMK as a COVID-19 containment measure. However it attracted criticism from the BJP state unit, particularly Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai who alleged that this was DMK‚Äôs way of ‚Äėpushing the party‚Äôs agenda‚Äô in the name of COVID-19 measures. ‚ÄúThey are pushing their ideology into people‚Äôs personal space, and our sacred temples in the name of Covid control,‚ÄĚ Annamalai had said. On October 7, the BJP also protested in front of several big temples in Tamil Nadu to get the DMK to scrap its weekend curb on temples.
Following this, Tamil Nadu‚Äôs Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Minister P K Sekar Babu said that the government would consider re-opening temples if the BJP state unit obtained from the Union government, permitting huge gatherings at one place during this pandemic period.