Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says worship centres in the state will reopen effective August 7, 2020.
“Places of worship in Lagos will now be opened from Friday, the 7th of August 2020,” the governor announced at a briefing on Saturday.
Sanwo-Olu also directed all the SS3 and Technical Studies (TEC3) Students in both day and boarding schools in the State to resume on Monday, 3rd of August, 2020 in line with the directive of the Federal Government.
The governor, who is also an Incident Commander, made the announcement in his 17th update on the coronavirus situation report on the state, held at Lagos House Marina.
According to the governor, “First, we are increasing the permissible capacity for public gatherings from 20 to 50 persons. 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.
“Places of Worship in Lagos State will be allowed to open from Friday , August 7, for our Muslim worshippers, and Sunday, August 9, for Christian worshippers, but only at 50.per cent 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.”
He reiterated that places of worship are only permitted to have their regular once-a-week services on the designated days adding that churches and mosques are not permitted to have other services or fellowships outside of their main weekly services.
Sanwo-Olu continued, “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.”
He listed the following conditions to be met and fulfilled by all religious centres and places of worship that are planning to reopen to include: Only regular services/gatherings are permitted to hold. Night Vigils and other non-regular programmes remain prohibited until further notice.
Attendees over the age of 65 years are strongly discouraged from attending worship services.
“No Facemask, No Entry” policy must be maintained throughout the duration of the services. Regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities must be carried out to maintain clean and hygienic environments before and after every service.
Appropriate screening equipment for COVID-19 symptoms such as a contactless temperature check must be available for entrants into the facility.
It is mandatory to provide handwashing facilities and sanitizers at the entry and exit point of the premises. National emergency response phone lines must be displayed prominently on the premises.
Others are: Handshakes, hugs and “high fives” are not permitted at services or gatherings, and should be emphasized by displaying appropriate signs prominently.
The use of stationary collection boxes and electronic methods for collection of offering must be encouraged.
The flow of human traffic in and out of places of worship must be conducted in an organized and orderly manner.
Regarding the schools, Sanwo-Olu directed that Secondary Schools in should reopen, as earlier communicated by the Ministry of Education, from August 3, for Exit Classes only, that is, SS3 and TEC3 students only.
“This will allow them two weeks to participate in revision classes and examinations in preparation for the forthcoming West African Examinations (WAEC), which will start on August 17, 2020.
“All standard precautions must be put in place by school authorities: handwashing facilities, physical distancing, the use of face masks, among others.”
He said officials of the state government would be inspecting all qualifying schools to ensure that the requirements are fully met adding that state government would make face masks available to all schools to which the reopening exemption applies, for the duration of the reopening.
Sanwo-Olu said restaurants would be permitted to open for in-dining services, from the August 14, on the proviso that they maintain a 50 per cent occupancy capacity, and have also obtained a Provisional Safety Compliance Certificate through the registration portal of the Lagos State Safety Commission: http://www.lasgsafetyreg.com
“Social Clubs and Recreational Centers will also now be allowed to open from the August 14, 2020, on the condition that they have applied for and obtained a Provisional Safety Compliance Certificate through the registration portal of the Lagos State Safety Commission: http://www.lasgsafetyreg.com. Note that these Safety Clearance Certificates are at this time being issued only to Social Clubs with Registered Trustees.
“Clubs and Centers that reopen without complying with these mandatory requirements will be shut down and dealt with according to the law.
“The closure of all Spas, Bars, Lounges, Night Clubs, Cinemas, Games Arcades remains in place. The possible reopening of these places will be further reviewed before the end of the month.”
He said that state government would be ramping up monitoring and enforcement work, to ensure that all guidelines and directives are complied with to the letter.