KOLKATA: Forum for Durgotsab, a platform of 550 community Durga Pujas in the city and its neighbourhood, on Sunday urged member committees to urge revellers to visit pandals throughout the day, and not only during the evening hours in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

The forum, which had issued the first set of guidelines in July, said people should be encouraged to set out pandal hopping from the morning in order to avoid overcrowding in the evening.

“What we want is to space out the crowd evenly. The objective is to strike a balance between Durga puja celebrations and maintaining pandemic protocols,” a member of Samajsebi Sangha, one of the prominent member committees of the forum, told PTI.

He said another important precondition will be to fully vaccinate all members and others who assume important roles in the festival like electricians, drummers, decorators and priests.

Other guidelines include making idols clearly visible from outside by erecting aesthetic but simple marquees, and maintaining social distancing during the rituals.

Durga puja festivities begin from October 12.

The West Bengal government has not yet come out with any directive on the state’s biggest festival.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly warned of a possible third wave of COVID-19 in September and underscored the need to vaccinate people.