The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Saturday released a new guideline for the reopening of places of worship like Churches and Mosques.
Recall that the Federal Government relaxed the ban placed on religious settings, allowing faith groups to meet while adhering to public health and social measures, on the 2nd of June 2020.
The NCDC, however, noted that in most countries, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been linked to large gatherings, including religious and non-religious gatherings.
It therefore, advised that religious centres should be clearly marked such that people sit and maintain two metres distance from each other.
It also stressed that activities that encourages direct contacts should be suspended and discouraged. Places of worship should also be disinfected before and after worship.
According to the guideline released in Abuja, “Following the review of recent restriction measures by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, NCDC has developed new guidelines for places of worship in Nigeria. This is to ensure safe gatherings and prevent exposures to COVID-19 infection in religious settings.
“In several countries, COVID-19 outbreaks have been linked to large gatherings, including religious and non-religious gatherings. To reduce the risk of infection in places of worship, NCDC offers the following guidance:
“There should be no entry without facemasks. All attendees and religious leaders must wear a face mask. People who are sick should not go to places of worship. There should be temperature screening on entry.
“Hand washing facilities and hand sanitizers should be provided at point of entries and strategic points.
“Attendance at religious settings should not exceed one-third of sitting capacity, and religious centres should be clearly marked such that people sit and maintain two metres distance from each other.
“There should be no form of direct contact. Practices such as handshakes as peace signs are discouraged. Practices that require sharing of materials should be limited. For example, ablution should be performed at home.
“Religious centres should be disinfected routinely, before and after worship.”