Churches or mosques with worshippers that fail to use facemasks will be shut down ahead of their June 19 and 21 reopening, the Lagos State Government has threatened.
It also vowed to sanction parents that take their wards to worship centres.
Director General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, stated these at a follow-up media briefing on Friday.
He said officials would be deployed to strictly enforce all the guidelines and protocols earlier reeled out by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday.
According to Mojola, government expects that in families with infants, one of the parents would stay home to offer care while the other could attend church or mosque service.
According to him: “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.”
The DG, who also disclosed over a thousand applications have been received from owners and operators of all events, gyms and other social places not yet given the nod to reopen, urged them to continue the register-to- open procedures and obtain their certificates.
He stated the registration and certificate issuance are at no cost to such businesses.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, 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.
According to the Governor, the worship centres must limit congregational gatherings to 40 percent of their capacities and observe all guidelines that allow for safety of worshipers and further check the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such protocols, he said, include mandatory wearing of facemasks by all persons going into the churches and mosques, provision for hand-washing under running water, temperature check, sanitizers and observance of social distance by the worshipers.
The religious centres are also expected to limit their gatherings only to regular Sunday services (churches) and Friday Jumat prayers ( mosques) as all other services including night vigils are prohibited for the time being.
There are also prevented from communion or sharing of food of any kind in the churches or kettle in the mosques
Sanwo-Olu said aged persons, 65 years and above as well young people, 15 years and below are to steer clear from all religious gatherings until otherwise further directed.
This, according to him, is necessary, as statistics of fatalities showed that persons within these brackets are more susceptible to the pandemic.