READ STRINGENT CONDITIONS: Gov Sanwo-Olu orders reopening of churches, mosques
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the re-opening of worship centres in the state with some stringent conditions.
The Governor disclosed that having carefully reviewed the current scenario in Lagos State as regards the novel coronavirus pandemic, places of worship in the state will be allowed to open from Friday, August 7, 2020 for Muslims, and Sunday, August 9 for Christians.
Sanwo-Olu while presenting his 17th update on COVID-19 at the Lagos House, Marina noted that mosques and churches will be allowed to open only at 50 percent of their capacity while attendees over the age of 65 are strongly discouraged from attending worship services.
He mentioned that churches whose main worship days fall on Saturdays, are permitted to hold their services on Saturdays, subject to the same guidelines as churches holding services on Sundays.
He however emphasized that places of worship are only permitted to have their regular once-a-week services on the designated days.
“For the avoidance of doubt, churches are mosques are not permitted to have other services or fellowships outside of their main weekly services. Places of Worship are allowed to schedule multiple services, on their designated worship days, if necessary, as well as also encouraging as many people as possible to participate using virtual means,” he said.
The governor further stressed that religious centres and places of worship that are planning to reopen are only permitted to hold regular services or gatherings while night vigils and other non-regular programmes remain prohibited until further notice. Services and gatherings he said should hold in large, well-ventilated areas or outdoors, as circumstances and faith traditions allow.
He stressed that ‘No facemask, No entry’ policy must be maintained throughout the duration of the services; regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities must be carried out to maintain clean and hygienic environments before and after every service as well as provision of hand-washing facilities and sanitizers at the entry and exit point of the premises.
“National emergency response phone lines must be displayed prominently on the premises; handshakes, hugs and ‘high fives’ are not permitted at services or gatherings, and this should be emphasized by displaying appropriate signs prominently. The use of stationary collection boxes and electronic methods for collection of offering must be encouraged. The flow of human traffic in and out of these places of worship must be conducted in an organized and orderly manner,” the governor outlined.
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