Places of worship in Lagos State will be reopened to congregants from 7 August.
This was announced by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, while providing an update on the state’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the State House, Marina, on Saturday.
Worship centres in the state have been shut since March as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 had earlier approved the reopening of churches and mosques in the country. However, the Lagos State government insisted that worship centres remained shut following the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
Governor Sanwo-Olu has now announced that mosques will be reopened next week Friday, the governor said churches will follow suit on Sunday, 9 August.
He said religious leaders must make available hand sanitizers, thermometer guns, adding that the state government will ensure that social distancing is maintained.
“Places of worship in Lagos will now be opened from Friday, the 7th of August for our Muslim worshippers, and on Sunday, the 9th of August for our Christian worshippers.
“We will only allow 50 per cent of their maximum capacities, either at the church or at the mosque. Churches who have a Saturday worship day will also be allowed to hold worship.
“We must reiterate that places of worship have their regular once a week service at designated days. For the avoidance of doubt, there will be Friday worships for our Muslim followers and Sunday worships for our Christian followers.
“We will monitor this for the next couple of weeks and see how compliance gets as we move along. They are encouraged to have multiple services on those days but they should restrict it to those designated days of worship.
“In addition, the following conditions must also be fully met by all our religious centres; regular gatherings are permitted to hold but vigils and other services should still be on hold for now.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu advised religious leaders to consider holding services in open spaces and well-ventilated areas “as circumstances of faith and tradition permit”.
He also stated that religious services will only be permitted for both churches and mosques once a week at 50 per cent capacity.
Lagos State is the epic centre of COVID-19 in Nigeria, recording 15,121 confirmed cases as of Friday, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).