Generally, famous high altitude shrines, Yamontri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath open in the end of April every year. In April 2020, the temples were also opened after winter break. However, pilgrims were not allowed for COVID.
Since July 1, 2020, the shrines have been receiving pilgrims only from Uttarakhand. Advance online registration and Yatra e-pass were mandatory for them. The passes were available only for the residents of Uttarakhand.
The shrines have also been opened for the pilgrims from outside Uttarakhand since July 25/28, 2020.
Let’s check the related statements of Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Board (U.C.D.D.B.) and Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (U.T.D.B.) from their respective official websites.
According to the official website of U.C.D.D.B., famous high altitude shrines have been opened for all pilgrims since July 25, 2020. The popup notification makes prior registration obligatory. Successful registrants should download Yatra e-pass. The pilgrims have to produce the pass at the shrines and along the routes.
The pilgrims from outside Uttarakhand must either complete mandatory quarantine prescribed in central or state government guidelines or produce negative report for reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test conducted 72 hours (3 days) before entering the State. The quarantine period in Uttarakhand stretches for 21 days for pilgrims from the places with high COVID rate and 14 days for those from other places.
The item 2 of the General Terms & Conditions for the Yatra e-Pass mandates test report for all pilgrims from outside Uttarakhand.
The items 10 and 13 specify validity and scope of the pass. The aforesaid pass is valid just for two days. The pass can neither be used for visiting nearby places nor for trekking.
Official website of Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board states that these shrines are open for all pilgrims and the pilgrims from outside Uttarakhand can book online Yatra e-pass after July 27, 2020.
The pilgrims from outside Uttarakhand either produce negative report of RT-PCR test or complete mandatory quarantine in Uttarakhand. The minimum quarantine period is seven days.