This year's Republic Day celebrations are likely to witness a number of changes due to the ongoing pandemic across the globe. This year's 72nd Republic Day celebrations will have smaller marching contingents, shorter distance for the parade and fewer spectators compared to the previous years in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
In this year's celebrations at Rajpath, around 25,000 spectators will be allowed to attend the programme instead of around 100,000 people that attend every year. Children below 15 years of age will also not be allowed entry during this year's celebrations.
Similarly, the size of marching contingents will also be brought down to 96 from the normal 144. According to reports, over 2,000 Army personnel have arrived in Delhi since November 2020 for Republic Day parades and all of them are being kept in a "safe bubble" to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
The "safe bubble" created for the Army personnel in the Cantonment area in Delhi comprises of a large number of camps and those staying in them will be virtually cut-off from the outside world till the Republic Day celebrations are over.
This year's parade is also expected to be shorter in distance as various reports state that the parade will start from Vijay Chowk and end at the National Stadium instead of the Red Fort.
Most of the COVID protocol put in place ahead of Republic Day celebrations were seen put into use during the Army Day celebrations held recently on January 15 where similar arrangements were made to keep everyone safe during the ongoing pandemic.