WORSHIP CENTRES IN LAGOS STATE, are to reopen, Friday, August 7, for Muslims and Sunday, August 9, for Christians. One day each week, on designated days, is allowed for worship for both Christians and Muslims. They could hold multiple services on the same day, according to the guidelines for reopening places of worship, announced by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Saturday, in Lagos.
Only 50 percent of maximum capacities of churches and mosques are allowed for each worship programme. The Governor recommended and seriously appealed to “senior citizens – if you are aged 65 and above, you are still strongly advised not to attend these places of worship. Please stay back at home.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s words: “We must reiterate that places of worship have their regular once a week service at designated days. For the avoidance of doubt, there will be Friday worships for our Muslim followers and Sunday worships for our Christian followers.
“We will monitor this for the next couple of weeks and see how compliance gets as we move along. They are encouraged to have multiple services on those days but they should restrict it to those designated days of worship. In addition, the following conditions must also be fully met by all our religious centres; regular gatherings are permitted to hold but vigils and other services should still be on hold for now.
Religious leaders were requested to consider holding services in open spaces, that should be well-ventilated within “circumstances of faith and tradition”. The Governor said “face mask policy” should be maintained throughout the duration of the services. They should ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities of the places of worship were carried out to maintain hygienic environment before, during and after services.
Sanwo-Olu said: “It is mandatory to provide handwashing facilities and hand sanitisers at the various worship places. Handshakes, hugs, high-fives are not permitted during gatherings and should be emphasised and displayed at the various places of worship”.
Governor Sanwo-Olu included in the released guidelines, that restaurants, and social clubs that have met the conditions for reopening are permitted to reopen from Friday, August 14, for in-dinning, but not permitted to reopen night clubs.
Worship centres and other social gatherings were banned in Lagos in March, as part of measures to control the spread of coronavirus in the State, known as the epic centre of Covid-19, in the country.
Nigerian government Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, in June, approved the reopening of churches and mosques in the country. But allowed State governments to exercise discretion, according to their circumstances, in reopening worship centres.