After several months of being closed, the Se Cathedral at Old Goa will be re-opened for faithful from today, September 7 onwards. The Basilica of Bom Jesus will be opened, however from September 13 for the public.
The feast of Nativity of Our Lady, celebrated on September 8, will also be celebrated at Old Goa, subject to all strict protocols and guidelines mandated during the current pandemic situation.
The world heritage complex at Old Goa, which come under as ‘protected sites’ by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that followed in March.
The Archbishop of Goa, Reverend Filipe Neri Ferrao, had in June, issued a circular stating that churches, and other religious shrines and chapels were permitted to re-open in a gradual manner.
However, due to rising covid-19 numbers across the state, several churches refrained from opening up considering safety measures of the people and keeping in mind the spread of the infection.
The Se Cathedral will be opened with all Covid-19 protocols to be followed, including social distancing, use of face masks, sanitisers and checking of body temperature using thermal guns at entry points.
Several religious places across the state have opened up following strict safety protocols, however, church congregations have restricted from opening up due to the prevailing situation.
Earlier last week, St Thomas Church, Aldona reopened its door with daily services following all safety guidelines, while many other churches across the state have chosen to telecast their mass services online or through television for their faithful.
The Basilica would be widely visited by domestic and international tourists visiting the state, including religious faithful from the state. A daily count of nearly 5000 visitors would be recorded at Old Goa.