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Lagos Governor says religious houses to open in 2 weeks

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Govenor Sanwo-Olu Babajide of Lagos state has said religious houses can open in two weeks time as the state enters the second phase of ease of lockdown, however, members in attendance must not exceed 500 at each service.

The governor disclosed the decision at the Lagos House, Marina, while releasing fresh guidelines for the second phase of the ease of lockdown on Thursday.

He stated they should open at a maximum of 40 per cent of their membership but any religious house with a larger congregation where the number exceeds 500 at that percentage can have more than one service.

The religious houses are only to run on selected days which are Sunday for churches and Friday for Muslims Jumu’ah but are barred from vigils and other weekly services.

The governor also stated that individuals below 15 years of age and above 65 years old should not be allowed into places of worship as they are extremely vulnerable to the pandemic.

He also implored all religious houses to strictly adhere to safety measures such as fumigating and keeping the premises clean, ensuring worshipers wear a face mask before entering, use of sanitizers etc.

Sanwo-Olu added that the Lagos State Safety Commission will be going round to register and check the level of compliance and that the state government has the discretion to stop or restrict worship where there is no compliance.

However, primary and secondary schools will remain shut because the government is still consulting with all stakeholders in the sector and will come out with guidelines for their re-opening in two weeks time and that the on-line classes for tertiary institutions continue, he said.

As from next Monday, according to the governor, civil servants on levels 13-14 can resume with their senior colleagues on level 15 and above, while levels 1-12 should wait.

All other announced guidelines by PTF include: curfew from 10p.m-4am, full re-opening of banks and other financial institutions, offices and busines places to operate from 7am-6pm; manufacturing companies permitted to do night shift but to make arrangement for movement of staff.

Hotels and hospitality businesses are also free to open while restaurants will open for take away services only, however, gyms, spas, cinema, event cents, nite clubs and all other such services remain closed and cross state journeys remain banned.

The governor admonished Lagosians to wear face mask always saying the level of compliance on wearing of face mask was not encouraging, adding, “let us self-regulate ourselves, regulate your conduct or government will regulate you.”

570 buses will be deployed on the BRT corridor on various routes next week and that the buses are being cleared from the port, Sanwo-old disclosed.

Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi

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