The Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Enugu State chapter, has said that normal services will resume in churches in the state on May 10.
The council said that this was part of the agreements reached with the state government on Thursday.
A statement issued in Enugu by Most. Rev. Christopher Ede, the state Chairman of CCN, said that church worship services would resume in all churches across the state on that day.
Ede, who is the Archbishop of Enugu Methodist Church Nigeria, said that each denomination must observe all the safety protocols on public gatherings, as recommended by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other government guidelines.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had, on March 31, suspended all religious and social gatherings, after announcing a partial lockdown, occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Also on May 4, the state government announced a gradual and partial ease of the lockdown, which permitted certain categories of traders to reopen their shops, but excluded churches and other places of worship.
Ede said: “All member-churches of the CCN, Enugu State, are hereby notified that we have reached an agreement with the governor on the resumption of public worships, with effect from May 10.”
He, however, said that such gatherings must observe social distancing protocol, with not more than 20 persons meeting in a church hall at a given time.
The cleric urged all denominations to keep to the rules of hygiene, such as washing of hands, use of hand sanitiser and face masks by worshipers.
“Churches should make each service short and ensure that members are sensitised during the period of preaching on how to protect themselves from the virus.
“No church is permitted to exceed noon on each worship day and you are at liberty to hold many sessions of worship within the specified time,” he said.
Ede said that religious activities involving large congregations were permitted only on Sundays.
“We shall continue periodic review of the situation with the governor to do what is best for the safety of the people at each time.
“Ministers and pastors are to take personal responsibility of making sure that the rules are obeyed, as any escalation of the virus may lead to another complete lockdown in the state,” Ede said. (NAN)