Only 50% capacity allowed for reopening of worship centres — Sanwo-Olu


Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday, directed that Mosques and Churches should reopen for normal services from next week, August 7 after months of lockdown.

The governor, who is also an Incident Commander, made the announcement in his 17th update on the coronavirus situation report on the state, held at Lagos House Marina.

According to the governor, “First, we are increasing the permissible capacity for public gatherings from 20 to 50 persons. This applies to a wide range of events, from AGMs to funerals. Lagosians should please continue to keep in mind that there is documented evidence that mass gatherings can increase the spread of infectious diseases, such as coronavirus.

“Places of Worship in Lagos State will be allowed to open from Friday , August 7, for our Muslim worshippers, and Sunday, August 9, for Christian worshippers, but only at 50.per cent of their capacity.

“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.”

Continued, “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 listed the following conditions to be met and fulfilled by all religious centres and places of worship that are planning to reopen to include: Only regular services/gatherings are permitted to hold. Night Vigils and other non-regular programmes remain prohibited until further notice. Attendees over the age of 65 years are strongly discouraged from attending worship services.

“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. Appropriate screening equipment for COVID-19 symptoms such as a contactless temperature check must be available for entrants into the facility. It is mandatory to provide handwashing facilities and sanitizers at the entry and exit point of the premises. National emergency response phone lines must be displayed prominently at the premises.

Others are: Handshakes, hugs and “high fives” are not permitted at services or gatherings, and 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 places of worship must be conducted in an organized and orderly manner.

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