…..As Public Gathering Capacity Increases From 20-50
As part of strategy to ease lockdown imposed to flatten coronavirus in Lagos state, Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has release conditions for the re-opening of worship centers.
Addressing a press conference in Marina, Lagos on Saturday, Sanwo-Olu Sanwo-Olu who approved that Muslims and Christian faith would be allowed to reopen their houses but only at 50% of their capacity, adding 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 said: 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 are mosques are not permitted to have other services. 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.”
Meanwhile, the governor has said that the state will increase the permissible capacity for public gatherings from 20 to 50 persons.
Also, Sanwo-Olu added that 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. As such, all standard prevention and control measures must be strictly adhered to: physical distancing, mandatory temperature checks and use of masks in public places, regular disinfection of premises, and strong personal hygiene.”
Sanwo-Olu said that the following conditions must be met and fulfilled by all religious centres and places of worship that are planning to reopen: “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 sixty-five (65) years are strongly discouraged from attending worship services; consider holding services and gatherings in large, well-ventilated areas or outdoors, as circumstances and faith traditions allow.
He noted 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.”
The governor maintained that 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 sanitizers at the entry and exit
point of the premises, national emergency response phone lines must be displayed prominently on the premises; handshakes, adding that “Hugs and “high fives” are not permitted at services or gatherings, and this should be emphasized by displaying appropriate signs prominently.”
He said that the use of stationary collection boxes and electronic methods for collection of offering must be encouraged, adding that “The flow of human traffic in and out of these places of worship must be conducted in an organized and orderly manner.”
As regards schools, Sanwo-Olu said that “Secondary Schools in Lagos will reopen, as earlier communicated by the Ministry of Education, from August 3rd, for Exit Classes only – i.e. SS3 and Technical Studies TEC3 students only. This will allow them two weeks to participate in revision classes and examinations in preparation for the forthcoming West African Examinations (WAEC), which will start on August 17, 2020.”
He reiterated that all standard precautions must be put in place by school authorities: handwashing facilities, physical distancing, the use of face masks, and so on.
The governor maintained that “officials of the Lagos State government will be inspecting all qualifying schools to ensure that these requirements are fully met. The Lagos State Government will make face masks available to all schools to which this reopening exemption applies, for the duration of the reopening.