By Segun James
Ahead of the reopening of religious centres in Lagos State, the state government has charged the worship centres to encourage the use of stationary collection box and electronic methods for offering to contain spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the centres.
The Director-General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, who stated this at a follow-up press briefing of the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the opening of worship centres in the state, said officials would be deployed to strictly enforce all the guidelines and protocols earlier reeled out by the government.
Mojola, however, issued a caveat that churches and mosques, whose attendees failed on Sundays and Fridays to wear face masks to services would be closed down.
According to him, the government has also prohibited parents from taking their infants to religious gatherings, warning that flouting the directive would attract sanctions against such parents.
He said the state government expects that in a family with infants, one of the parents would stay at home to offer care, while the other could attend church or mosque service, even as he said it is expected that worshipers would observe the standard two metres social distancing protocol from each other while seated in the church or mosque.
“While all event centres remain shut until further notice, those used for religious gatherings could however, open but strictly for that purpose and must observe all the protocols,” Mojola said.
The DG, who also disclosed that over a thousand applications have been received from owners and operators of all events, gyms and other social places but have not yet given the nod to reopen, urged them to continue the register-to open procedures and obtain their certificates, stressing that the registration and certificate issuance are at no cost to such businesses.
Sanwo-Olu had, while giving update on the steps towards full reopening of the state, said mosques would conditionally reopen from June 19 while churches would follow suit on June 21, 2020.