Places of worship will resume services from Tuesday, July 14, 2020, following a proposal by the Interfaith Council.
Chairperson of the Council, Archbishop Anthony Muheria, in a statement Tuesday proposed a four-step phased reopening of churches, mosques in strict conformity with the Ministry of Health guidelines.
Archbishop Muheria said the phased reopening of places of worship would allow the Council to engage the State in making decisions based on daily infection statistics.
To ensure compliance of the coronavirus directives, Muheria said every place of worship will be expected to form a COVID-19 committee that will be in charge of monitoring the adherence of the new measures.
The Council, however, noted that there is still a daunting task ahead of sensitisation to ensure that believers follow the guidelines. It came up with 13 health safety guidelines to be followed in reopening of places of worship. They include:
- Providing water, hand wash detergents and sanitisers for hand hygiene
- Congregants to wear face masks properly throughout the services
- The 1.5-metre social distance between congregants
- Only 100 persons allowed to participate in services.
- Children below 13 years and adults above 58 years are prohibited from attending.
- Services to be conducted at most one hour.
- Regular cleaning and disinfection of places of worship
- Taking care and avoiding contacts during service
- Sanitising shared items like microphones
- Special sanitisation for those presiding over public worship
- Collections that involve personal contacts to be discouraged
- Thermal guns to be used to scan body temperature
- Duration of worship sessions to be made shorter at initial stages.
The council added that it will be sending representatives to the counties to monitor the reception of the guidelines and to provide civic education for the congregants.
“Please let us not rush without preparations. We all understand the great eagerness and longing that we have but with some patience and preparations, we will safely reunite. We must remember that the real solution for this pandemic lies in prayers to the almighty God,” said Muheria.
“We therefore urge and plead with Kenyans that we open places of worship in an orderly and prepared way…We must ensure the safety of each and every congregant. The Interfaith Council will review and advice accordingly in the next three weeks.”