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FCTA unveils guidelines for reopening of worship centres

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Thursday released the guidelines for the reopening of places of worship as recommended by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, who gave the guidelines in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, said the resolution was reached at the end of a meeting with religious leaders on Wednesday.

Bello said the FCT administration recognized the importance of places of worship in society.

He disclosed that places of worship had also been recognized as major sources of spread of the virus, saying it was, therefore, imperative that all places of worship adhered very strictly to the guidelines.

Bello said the FCTA received briefings from its COVID-19 Emergency Response Team on the pandemic situation in the nation’s capital.

The statement read: “After extensive deliberations, the meeting agreed to adopt the guidelines as released by the PTF with regards to the reopening of places of worship in the FCT under the second phase of the ease of lockdown for the next four weeks.

“The minister expressed appreciation of the FCT administration to the religious leaders for their cooperation and commitment toward a safe reopening of places of worship in the territory.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: FCTA charges Muslims to observe Sallah prayers at home

“He also urged residents to use the opportunity provided by the reopening of Churches and Mosques to pray fervently for the early end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Following consensus, between the FCT administration and the religious leaders, the protocols guiding the reopening of places of worship in the territory are as follows:

– 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.

– All places of worship must ensure the supply of running water and soap or alcohol sanitizers at entry and exit points and in all high-contact locations including bathrooms.

– Worshippers must sanitise their hands before entry, Mosques and Churches must provide temperature checks before entry and every worshipper must ensure mandatory use of face masks.

“The minister strongly discourage all close contact including shaking hands, hugging, kissing, handing out of materials and sharing of worship implements including prayer mats, musical organs, microphones and the rest.

“He noted that churches and mosques within the FCT should limit the capacity of their facilities to allow for physical distancing of at least two meters between persons.”

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