At last, FG lifts ban on religious gatherings

The Federal Government has relaxed the restriction earlier placed on places of worships across the country to combat spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, made this known on Monday during the daily briefing of the panel.

According to Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), the directive was consequent upon the approval of the PTF’s recommendations on the reopening of churches and mosques by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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The SGF, however, stated that the ongoing ban on interstate travel across the country remains in place except for movement of essential services.

He said: “The PTF submitted its recommendations and the PRESIDENT has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review-:

“Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;

“Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities; sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;

“Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.”

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The PTF Chairman also announced ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside a workplace, adding that the use of non-medical face masks in public places has also been made mandatory.

Mustapha called on Nigerians to support government’s efforts aimed at tackling the pandemic, noting the country still has a long way to rid the novel disease.

The reopening of churches and mosques comes against the backdrop of several calls by various clergymen in the country had who faulted government’s decision to shut places of worships.

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