Catholic Churches in Nairobi to reopen next Sunday
Catholic Churches in Nairobi are set to reopen on July 19 in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols from the Government.
John Cardinal Njue, ArchBishop of the Nairobi Diocese, directed that each Parish form a COVID-19 response team to assist faithfuls to stick to the Health Ministry guidelines.
“I urge you to take these guidelines seriously so that we may adequately prepare the faithful for the second phase of the reopening of our places of worship,” Njue said in a statement.
The churches will be expected to provide hand washing stations or alcohol-based sanitizers for faithfuls to use before and after the gathering.
They will also be required to ensure that anyone who enters the church is wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Further, where possible, thermal guns will be used to detect those who may have indicators of illness.
Other regulations provided by the Office of the Cardinal include:
- regular cleaning and disinfecting of worship places
- ensuring social distancing of 1.5 metres between congregants
- regulation of number of congregants to maximum of 100 persons
- clearly labelled sitting positions
- discourage socializing outside places of worship
- ensure mass takes only one hour
- singing limited to liturgical action
- omit sign of peace communion rite
ArchBishop Njue further directed that during the COVID-19 pandemic baptism services for infants will remain suspended while anointing of the sick will be limited.
Ministers will be required to maintain social distance and wear face masks at all times.
On July 6, President Kenyatta announced the phased reopening of places of worship in the country but only if they comply with set regulations for public gatherings.
He said persons under the age of 13 years and those over the age of 58 as well as those with underlying health conditions shall not attend worship, also extending the suspension of Sunday schools and madrasas “until further notice.”
Kenya has so far recorded 9,726 cases of coronavirus, 2,832 recoveries and 184 deaths.