For three months, all ASI monuments across the country, had been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. They finally opened their doors to visitors this week. However, the Taj Mahal continues to remain closed as Agra falls under &ldquobuffer zones&rdquo.
The country recorded its highest daily surge on Sunday, July 5, which took India's COVID-19 positive cases to 6.73 lakh and death toll to 19,268.
The marble mausoleum, along with other monuments in Agra, like the Agra Fort, Akbar's tomb, Fatehpur Sikri and Itmad-ud-Daula, too shall remain shut &ldquountil further notice&rdquo, the Agra district magistrate has stated. The decision was announced when 55 new cases were reported from the 71 containment zones in Agra.
The ASI maintained monuments will be open following strict standard operating protocols. Proper social distancing norms, sanitisation procedures and other health protocols have to be followed at all times. These include wearing face masks, thermal screenings and sanitiser use at all entrances.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is a huge source of revenue for the government as it draws millions of tourists annually from across the globe. The state government has incurred heavy economic loss due to the prolonged lockdown of the monument.