Church reopening: CAN submits guidelines to PTF

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has submitted a guideline for the reopening of worship centres to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

Recall that the Federal Government ordered lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown affected churches and other businesses.

A few weeks back, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered gradual easing of lockdown which saw the reopening of selected businesses which worship centres remained closed.

After calls for the reopening of worship centres, the PTF recently asked the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to submit guidelines for the reopening of churches.

After meeting between CAN, Nationa Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the PTF, the Special Assistant to the CAN President, Pastor Bayo Oladeji told Tribune Online that CAN had submitted the guidelines to PTF.

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Pastor Oladeji said the guidelines include “churches should disinfectant their premises first before they are reopened for services. Churches should provide alcoholic sanitizers, temperature readers, soap and water in their premises to be supervised by medical professionals in the Church.

“Every worshipper must either use soap to wash their hands or apply sanitizers. The temperature of every worshipper must be screened before admission into the church and people with the high temperature should be advised to go and see their doctors.

“Every worshipper must wear facemask. Social distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with a one-meter gap between two worshippers. One hour service for a start. All Sunday services to end on or at 5:30 pm.

“There should be a gap of 10 minutes between one service or another where there are multiple services to avoid crowd. 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.

“Handshaking and hugging should be avoided before, during and after the service. Children should worship with their parents. 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. CAN will constitute a committee together with law enforcement agencies to enforce the full compliance”.

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