Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says places of worship in the state will be operational again starting from August 7, 2020.
Worship centers in the state were closed in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the corona virus.
The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 fixed the reopening of churches and mosques in the country in June, but the Lagos State Government insisted that places of worship remain closed.
However, the governor announced in a briefing on Saturday that “places of worship in Lagos will now be open to our Muslim worshipers on Friday, August 7 and for our Christian worshipers on Sunday, August 9.
“We will allow only 50 per cent of their maximum potential in the church or mosque,” he said. Churches will also be allowed to worship on Saturdays.
“We must reiterate that places of worship serve regularly once a week on certain days. To avoid doubt, there will be Friday prayers for our Muslim followers and Sundays for our Christian followers.
We will monitor this for the next two weeks and see how compliance works when we walk together. The places of worships can have multiple services on those specified days but are encouraged to limit services only to those days.
In addition, all of our religious centers must fully comply with the conditions. Regular gatherings are allowed but vigils and other services should still be suspended.
“We strongly appeal to our senior citizens that if you are 65 years of age or older, you are advised not to visit these places of worship,” he said. “Please stay home.”
Sanwo-Olu advised religious leaders to consider conducting services in open spaces and ventilated areas “as permitted by beliefs and traditions.”
“However, we must ensure that the full face mask policy is maintained during the service. They should ensure that facilities are maintained regularly and cleaned before, during and after services to maintain a clean and hygienic environment.
“Hand-washing facilities and hand-sanitary facilities must be provided at various places of worship. Shaking hands, hugs, highs and lows are not allowed during gatherings and they should be emphasized and displayed at different places of worship,” he said.
As of Friday night, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control had recorded more than 15,000 Covid-19 infections and 200 related deaths in Lagos, the most by any state in the country. Lagos state announced however that progress has been made in the fight against the eradication of the disease.