Nigeria’s Federal Government has released guidelines for religious centres to reopen across the country.
Mr Sani Aliyu, National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, rolled out the guidelines during a daily briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.
Aliyu said: “In view of the widespread community transmission of COVID-19, it is important that places of worship operate in a safe manner to ensure the protection of public health, avoid outbreaks and safeguard the health of the vulnerable members of the population.
“To this end, the following guidelines have been developed as a minimum set of standards that have to be complied with for places of worship to safely operate nationwide.
“They have been developed by the PTF in liaison with the leadership of religious communities in the country and should be used as a baseline for states to allow these activities.
“It is important to note that due to the nature of religious congregations, places of worship are particularly recognised to have a major potential for spreading COVID-19 infections amongst worshippers.
“Therefore places of worship that are not able to comply with these measures should not be allowed to operate by state governments.
“The following measures are recommended;
“All places of worship must sign up to full compliance with all aspects of non-pharmaceutical interventions required to protect the public from COVID-19 including but not limited to ensuring the supply of running water and soap, alcohol sanitisers at entry and exit points in all high contact locations including bathrooms.
“Worshippers must sanitise their hands before entry.
“Worshippers must have temperature checks before entry and the supervision and the enforcement of this will be led by the leaders of these facilities.
“Use of face masks is mandatory.
“Strongly discourage all close contacts including shaking hands, hugging.”