Shortly after the Federal Government lifted the ban placed on religious and other public gatherings, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has issued new guidelines for the reopening of worship centres across the country.
In a statement published on its site, the agency barred children, and people aged 60 and above from attending worship centres for the time being.
It also said that public toilets and sales outlets in churches and mosques must be shut during services.
According to the guidelines, before reopening, religious houses should fumigate their auditoriums, car parks, and other buildings by wiping all surfaces with disinfecting agents.
The centre also said that during services, windows and doors must be opened to enable airflow, while adequate provision should be made for soaps, running water and hand sanitisers at entry points.
“There should be no entry without face masks; provide disposable face masks where practicable.
“To help educate on COVID-19, it is recommended for places of worship to have preventive messages from NCDC posted at entry points and around places of worship.
“Holy communion should be packaged in disposable wraps. Drinking water points, public toilets and sales outlets must be closed for now,” the NCDC said.
Going forward, Muslim faithfuls, are advised to perform ablution at home, and the sharing of kettles and any personal items is discouraged.
It said, “Religious leaders must maintain two metres when praying or counselling and avoid body contact with members. Places of worship should be free of carpets and rugs to allow easy disinfection of the floor.
“Places of worship must open only between 5am and 8pm. Choristers are to go home with their robes; hijabs are not to be shared; attendance in every service should not exceed one-third of sitting capacity of the auditorium to enable physical distancing. All other members should join the service virtually.”