Tamil Nadu: Jallikattu allowed with curbs; check details here
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday allowed the traditional Jallikattu event across the state with certain COVID-19-related restrictions in place. In view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the government has put restrictions in terms of the number of spectators, mandatory vaccinations, and negative RT-PCR reports. Notably, Jallikattu—a traditional bull-taming sport—is held during the festival of Pongal in January.
Why does it matter?
- The Tamil Nadu government's decision comes at a time when the state reported 12,895 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.
- The state has also reported 185 Omicron cases so far.
- In December, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had also sent a petition written by 80 doctors, urging CM MK Stalin not to allow the event in view of the COVID-19 situation.
What are the restrictions?
The government said the events should be organized with prior government permission and complying the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and standard operating procedure (SOP). Only two people—the owner of the bull and an assistant—will be allowed inside the ring, the SOP stated. Participants will have to be fully vaccinated and provide a negative RT-PCR test not older than 48 hours.
Administration to provide ID cards to participants
Meanwhile, district administrations are also directed to issue ID cards to the owners, assistants, and players. Without ID cards, no one will be allowed to enter inside the arena or the ring. The state government has also directed the district administrations to complete the process of issuing ID cards to owners and players three days before the event.
50% of seating capacity allowed
Only 50% of the venue's seating capacity or up to 150 viewers—whichever is lower—is allowed. People residing in cities/towns other than the venue of the sport have been advised to watch the event through television or online. Only fully vaccinated spectators with negative test reports will be allowed. Up to 300 players will be allowed to participate in 'Jallukattu'.
Complete vaccination mandatory for organizers, officials
For the bull race event (Eruthu Viduthal), up to 150 participants are allowed. Officials who are overseeing preparations and organizers of the sport will also have to be fully vaccinated. They will also have to show a COVID-19 negative report.