The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday directed worship centres to reopen with 50 per cent of their maximum capacity effective from August 7, 2020.
Worship centres had been shut in the State since March as part of measures to curtail the spread of the COVID – 19 pandemic that has been ravaging the world.
Sanwo – Olu, announcing the reopening of worship centers at a briefing, said that the State after carefully reviewed the situation decided on “some important decisions in line with the ongoing objective of calibrating an effective balance between the competing demands of safeguarding lives and enabling livelihoods.
While announcing the lifting of restriction on worship centres, Sanwo – Olu also warned gathering could increase the spread of COVID – 19, adding that physical distancing, use of masks, regular disinfection and other measures must be strictly adhered to.
“First, we are increasing the permissible capacity for public gatherings from 20 to 50 persons” Gov. Sanwo – Olu stated.
“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.
“Places of Worship in Lagos State will be allowed to open from Friday the 7th of August for our Muslim worshippers, and Sunday the 9th of August for Christian worshippers, but only at 50% of their capacity.
“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.
“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 and mosques are not permitted to have other services or fellowships outside of their main weekly services” he warned.
“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.
Sanwo – Olu announced that night vigils and other non-regular programmes remain prohibited until further notice, while also attendees over the age of sixty-five (65) years are strongly discouraged from attending worship services.
The Governor also asked places of worship to consider holding services in open and well-ventilated places adding that such must be with, “No Facemask, No Entry” policy maintained throughout the duration of the services.
He said that 15, 150 confirmed cases of COVID – 19 have been recorded in Lagos since the outbreak of the pandemic, out of which 10, 835 fully recovered and discharged, while 194 deaths recorded so far.
“As at yesterday, Friday July 31, 2020, Lagos State has had a total of 15,150 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 10,835 persons who have recovered and been discharged. We have sadly now lost 194 persons to the virus. This leaves us with 1813 active cases in community and 96 under management across various isolation centers in the State” Gov. Sanwo – Olu said.