By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos State Government on Saturday announced the reopening of worship centre on Friday, Aug. 7 for Muslims and Sunday, Aug. 9 for Christians.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced this during the 17th Update on the Management of Coronavirus in the state at Lagos House, Marina.
Sanwo-Olu said that churches whose main worship days fell on Saturdays, were permitted to hold their services on Saturdays, subject to the same guidelines as churches holding services on Sundays.
He said that the religious houses were to open to only at 50 per cent of their capacity.
”Places of Worship in Lagos State will be allowed to open from Friday the 7th of August for our Muslim worshippers, and Sunday the 9th of August for Christian worshippers.
”We must reiterate 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 and 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,” the governor said.
According to him, only regular services and gatherings are permitted to hold, as night vigils and other non-regular programmes remain prohibited until further notice.
He said that attendees over the age of 65 years were strongly discouraged from attending worship services.
Sanwo-Olu said that services should be held in well-ventilated areas or outdoors, as circumstances and faith traditions allow.
He said that worship centres must maintain ”No Face mask, No Entry” policy 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 hand-washing facilities and sanitiser 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 emphasised by displaying appropriate signs prominently,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor said that the use of stationary collection boxes and electronic methods for collection of offering must be encouraged.
He also said that the flow of human traffic in and out of these places of worship must be conducted in an organised and orderly manner.