In Nigeria, places of worship that fail to comply with the guidelines will not be allowed to reopen. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has listed guidelines for the reopening of churches and mosques across Nigeria.
The task force had earlier on Monday, June 1, 2020 lifted restrictions on religious gatherings, weeks after they were banned to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The lifting of the restriction has raised concerns among Nigerians as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise – 10,578 as of June 1.
During a media briefing on Tuesday, June 2, the PTF’s national coordinator, Sani Aliyu, advised that Nigerians should try as much as possible to continue to worship at home.
Aliyu said places of worship are recognised as a major potential for spreading COVID-19 infection, as demonstrated in several outbreaks globally.
To prevent outbreaks in the country, Aliyu said the PTF developed guidelines for the reopening of worship centres in collaboration with religious leaders in the country, guidelines he said should be used as a baseline by state governments for permitting use of the centres.
He said places of worship must sign up to full compliance with all aspects of non-pharmaceutical interventions required to protect the public from COVID-19, including but not limited to ensuring the supply of running water and soap, or alcohol sanitisers at all entry and exit points, and all high-contact locations including bathrooms.
The PTF recommends limiting congregational contact times in places of worship to regular church and mosque services.
Churches are advised to open from 5 am to 8 pm, with each service taking a maximum of one hour, with an interval of 30 minutes in between services to allow time for disinfection.
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