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Heritage monuments managed by ASI to reopen for public from July 6

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All monuments, including the world-renowned Taj Mahal and Delhi’s Red Fort, will be reopened to the public from Monday for the first time since the country went into lockdown in March to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Over 3,400 monuments were shut down by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on March 17, days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown.

Some 820 religious places under the ASI were reopened when the government announced a graded exit from the total shutdown under “Unlock1”.

The rest of the monuments can reopen, the government has said, but states are free to decide whether to keep them closed based on the coronavirus situation.

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Union minister for tourism and culture Prahlad Singh Patel announced the decision on Twitter.

“Photos of Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh), Purana Quila (Delhi), Khajuraho (world heritage monument). I have decided that from July 6 all monuments can reopen with precautions,” Patel tweeted.

Popular religious destinations like Tirumala Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh opened last month with measures like PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) suits for temple staff, physical distancing rules and fewer tickets.

On June 30, the government announced the second phase of the phased exit from restrictions except in containment zones.

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