Things To Observe As You Finally Attend Church, Mosque On June 21, 23

This is indeed great news to many Christians and Muslims.

They can now worship in their worship centres and no longer have virtual services.

Recall that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus Response gave a regulated permission for resumption of business and religious activities across the nation as part of measures to ease the nationwide lockdown.

The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, granted partial relaxation of the prohibition placed on religious gatherings. 

From June 19; Muslims can congregate for Jummat service only, from June 21, Christian worshippers are allowed to open churches only for Sunday services.

But before you start worshipping in those churches and mosques, here are the Lagos State Government modified protocols and guidelines.

However, the Governor emphasised that the pronouncement should not be taken as permission for full reopening of places of worship.

Hence, no more daily vigils and other extra-religious activities remained prohibited their activities must be limited to obligatory worships, which is Sunday.

He said: “In line with the promise I made to you two weeks ago, I set up a committee with several Ministries chaired by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, to draw up guidelines for the phased re-opening of organised gatherings in the State.

“We will, from June 19 and 21, 2020, be allowing all our places of worship to re-open for obligatory services only at the maximum of the 40 per cent of their capacities. These eased measures must be accompanied by physical distancing, mandatory temperature checks, use of face masks and strong personal hygiene. 

Sanwo-Olu prohibited vulnerable persons from participating in organised religious gatherings, saying houses of worships must consider the option of virtual platform for members below 15 years and above 65 years. Officiating priests above 65 years are exempted, but they must maintain appropriate social distance from the congregants.

The Governor directed that houses of worship must also maintain a “no face mask, no entry” policy throughout the duration of their activities. Periodic cleaning and disinfection of facilities, the Governor said, must be carried out on these religious facilities in line with public health guideline of the State.

He said: “Crowd capacity must be limited to no more than 40 per cent of the approved occupancy limit of religious centers by the State Government, with a maximum limit of 500 people irrespective of the size of the religious centre. We strongly advise members of the congregation to avoid food offerings (communion) when it is being shared from common dishes.

“Also, sharing of kettles during ablution is strictly prohibited. The decision to proceed, restrict, modify, postpone or cancel a worship service after a thorough risk assessment solely lies with the State Government. All places of worship must nominate a person who would liaise with the State Government to obtain a safety clearance for their premises.”