COVID-19 PROTOCOL FOR WORSHIP CENTRES (CHRISTIANITY) AFTER RE-OPENING

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1. Churches should allow 50% of worshipers ONLY at a time

2. SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS services should be kept between 1 and 2 hours. Saturday services are strictly for Churches whose main worship days fall on Saturdays.

3. Services should not exceed ONE (1) HOUR.

4. Worshipers should exit Church premises not later than one (1) hour after service/mass.

5. Churches should be decontaminated before the first service of the day and after the last service for the day, while wiping of surfaces should be carried out after each service.

6. No Vigil is allowed in places of worship for now.

7. Record of attendance should show name, age, sex, address and telephone/email at every service for contact tracing in case of any discovery of infected/affected people.

8. Washing of hands with soap and water is mandatory before entry into place of worship.

9. Use of face mask is compulsory in Church precincts.

10. Use of hand sanitizers is compulsory.

11. Physical and social distancing horizontally and vertically of two (2) meters should be ensured.

12. No use of air conditioners and all windows must be opened.

13. Worshipers above 65 years are discouraged from attending worship. However, should they attend, they should be given special considerations on the rows and positioning during worship services.

14. Children from aged 12 and below should stay back to worship from home.

15. All removable carpets and rugs should be put aside and others (irremovable) are to be washed and disinfected regularly.

16. Sounds from the loud speakers should not be above the acceptable decibel.

17. All safety measures must be put in place (first aid boxes, fire extinguishers, muster points, emergency exit points etc).

18. Digital thermometer must be available to check temperatures of all congregation members and ensure that it is not above 37.50C before allowing entry into place of worship.

19. Social gatherings such as marriages, naming ceremonies, birthdays, burials etc must not be more than 50 people including the couples and the Officiating Ministers – who must take cognizance of social distancing precaution and other related COVID-19 protocols.

20. Other educational programmes would still be on hold

21. Rules of physical distancing should be taken into cognizance in all religious interactions while COVID-19 lasts.

22. Every Clergy should ensure compliance with above conditions irrespective of other activities carried out in their places of worship.

23. Every place of Christian worship should adhere strictly to the above conditions irrespective of their denominational practice s e.g. Communion, Weddings and Burials, Thanksgiving and other forms of Celebrations in the Church.

24. Provision of more microphones for all officiating Ministers/ Priests.

25. Above protocols shall be reviewed by the State government as the need arises after re-opening of places of worship.

Moji Alabi

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