New Delhi: In wake of the ongoing third wave of COVID-19 in the country, the Republic Day celebrations will take place with stricter restrictions than the ones imposed last year with the possibility of further reduction in the number of visitors allowed to witness the parade, said an official from the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday.
The officials told ANI that a joint meeting was held by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence and other concerned agencies to discuss the safety and security of visitors during the event. It was decided in the meeting that there will be stricter restrictions during the Republic Day celebrations this year in addition to the restrictions imposed last year.
“The route of the parade will be shorter as similar to last year. The marching contingent will end at the India Gate C-Hexagon instead of Red Fort. The Rajpath that has been redeveloped under Central Vista has been opened between Vijay Chowk and India Gate for rehearsal of contingent participating in Republic Day Parade 2022,” the official told ANI.
“All invitees attending parade at Rajpath on Republic Day have to strictly comply with the COVID-19 advisory that includes temperature check, sanitizer, mask, and social distancing. The decision on making vaccine certificate mandatory for invitees will be decided in the next meeting,” he added.
The official further informed that just like last year, the entry to the Republic Day parade will strictly be through the invitation card, and added that children below the age of 15 years will not be allowed at the parade.
“Entry to Republic Day Celebrations-2022 will be strictly through Invitation Card. All those, who don’t have a valid Invitation Card are advised to watch the live programme at home. Children below 15 years of age are not allowed to celebrations at Rajpath. And no standing spectators would be allowed,” he said.
Citing the reports of the ongoing third wave of COVID-19 touching its peak during the Republic Day celebrations in the country, the official said that the seating arrangements could further be reduced as against 25,000 visitors allowed in the parade despite the seating capacity of 1 lakh spectators.
“Medical teams will be deployed outside each enclosure to ensure health safety of visitors. To maintain social distancing, the entry gates to the parade will be increased,” the official added.
Meanwhile, a contingent of five Central Asian nations who will be chief guests for Republic Day 2022 celebrations, has arrived in Delhi to participate in the event.
The contingent from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan has reached Delhi.