Taj Mahal Reopens For Tourists After 188 Days Even As COVID-19 Cases Rise; Chinese Tourists First To Visit The Iconic Monument

  • 4 years ago
The iconic Taj Mahal in Agra reopened on September 21 with strict coronavirus safety guidelines after being shut for tourists for over six months. The Agra Fort too reopened on September 21. Both world heritage sites were closed since March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese tourists were strictly monitored in Agra as they were being considered potential carriers of the virus. Hotels were asked to keep tabs on every Chinese tourist arriving for a stay, fearing that they could spread the virus in the city. Life came to a full circle six months, when the first tourist to enter the Taj Mahal after its reopening was a Chinese national. The Taj Mahal was opened to tourists on September 21 after 188 days of its COVID-19-led closure. Only 5,000 tourists will be allowed each day at the Taj Mahal, 2,500 before 2 PM and the rest after. At Agra Fort, 2,500 tourists will be allowed every day. Tourists will have to make all payments, including parking, digitally. Tourists have been allowed to enter the monuments only after their thermal screening and only those with no symptoms are being allowed to enter the premises. Reportedly, a total of 20 foreign and 1,215 Indian tourists visited the Taj Mahal on the first day and this number is expected to continue to rise as the news of the monument's reopening spreads across the globe. The Agra Fort saw 248 tourists, of which five were foreigners. The move to reopen the heritage sites came as more relaxations kicked in after the government announced Unlock4, even though COVID-19 cases in the country are on a steep rise. Uttar Pradesh is the fifth most-affected state in the country with over 3.58 lakh COVID-19 cases.