Dehradun, April 30: Carrying a negative Covid report or vaccination certificate is not mandatory for pilgrims coming to Uttarakhand for this year's Char Dham Yatra, a senior government official said on Saturday.

However, it will be compulsory for them to register on the tourism department's portal before setting out on the pilgrimage, Chief Secretary S S Sandhu said after holding a meeting with officials Friday night to discuss the yatra and how to conduct it successfully.

Checking pilgrims coming from outside the state for a negative Covid report or vaccination certificate will not be mandatory till further orders, Sandhu said. It is being done so that devotees do not face any inconvenience on arrival and there is no crowding on the state's borders, he said. However, he asked officials to constantly monitor the situation. Char Dham Yatra 2022 Guidelines: COVID-19 Testing, Vaccination Certificates Not Mandatory for Devotees; Check Details.

The meeting was attended by the state's police chief, secretaries of health and tourism departments, officials of the Mandir Samiti and the district magistrates concerned.

The Char Dham Yatra begins on May 3 with the opening of the Gangotri and Yamunotri temples. Kedarnath will open on May 6 and Badrinath on May 8. With Covid-related restrictions lifted, a record number of pilgrims is likely to visit the Himalayan temples this year. Hotels and Dharamshalas located along the yatra route are reporting they are fully booked in advance.

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