The President, Mohamadu buhari has approved the lifted the ban on religious gathering across the country.
The government had imposed the ban two months ago to check the spread of coronavirus.
But at the briefing of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairman of the PTF, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the relaxation of the ban for four weeks.
“The PTF submitted its recommendations and the PRESIDENT has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review-:
“Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;
“Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities; sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;
“Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.”
Effective from tomorrow:
1. Nationwide curfew remains in place, timing now 10pm—4am.
2. Full opening of financial sector – normal working hours
3. Restricted opening of places of worship, (regular church & mosque services ONLY), to be based on State Govt protocols.
4. Interstate travel remains prohibited except for goods &essential travel
5. Gathering of >20 persons remains prohibited;outside of workplaces + religious services
6. Aviation Industry requested to start developing protocols for domestic flights to possibly resume from June 21
Hotels may reopen
Restaurants outside of hotels must remain closed for eat-in—TAKEOUT ONLY
Bars, gyms, cinemas, nightclubs, parks closed until further evaluation
All schools to remain closed until further evaluation
Offices maintain 2m physical distancing + 75% max capacity
CAN Submits Draft Guidline For Reopening Churches to FG
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has issued draft guidelines for the reopening of churches in the country.
This is contained in a statement signed by CAN President, Reverend Samson Ayokunle.
The statement said, “We are discussing with the federal government on the re-opening of the churches nationwide. We know the danger of COVID-19 is not over yet but we are thinking that if we engage this method of congregational cry unto God over the pandemic, God would hear our prayers.
The government from our discussions wants us to draw up suggested guidelines for worship in keeping with COVID-19 containment requirements and submit for approval.”
“Below is a draft which I want you to see and possibly add to, if there is any remaining.
“Quick response is important because I and the Sultan of Sokoto would hold a zoom meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation this week.
“We hope that latest by the first week in June, we would be back in churches nationwide.
The suggested guidelines.
1. Churches should disinfect their premises first before they are reopened for services.
2. Churches should provide alcoholic sanitizers, temperature readers, soap and water in their Premises to be supervised by medical professionals in the Church.
3. Every worshipper must either use soap to wash their hands or apply sanitizers.
4. The temperature of every worshipper must be taken before admission into the church and people with the high temperature should not be allowed into the church but be advised to go and see their doctors.
5. Every worshipper must wear facemask.
6. Social distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with one meter gap between two worshippers.
7. One and a half hour service is enough for a start.
8. There should be a gap of 25 or 30 minutes between one service and another where there are multiple services to avoid crowd.
9. Churches can make use of classrooms and multipurpose halls for services where available, especially in big churches in order to accommodate more worshippers at a go. TV circuit and speakers can be used for those who are not inside the main auditorium.
10. Handshaking and hugging should be avoided before, during and after the service.
11. Prayers should be offered to God for a speedy end of COVID-19 and quick recovery of all that are afflicted by the pandemic. Prayers should also be offered for those frontline workers for divine protection.
12. CAN in each state and local government should constitute a committee together with law enforcement agencies in their area to enforce full compliance. Such civilian compliance officials should be given backing by the governments to apprehend those who contravene the worship regulations and hand them over to law enforcement agents.
13. Churches observing Holy Communion service should use separate cup for each participant.
For the King,
Rev. Dr. Samson O. A. Ayokunle