Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, says places of worship will reopen as from June 1, but under stern restrictions to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
This is despite the fact that South Africa is the continent’s worst-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak with 24,264 confirmed cases of the disease and 524 deaths, according toworldometer.
But in a statement on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said churches, mosques, temples and other recognised places of worship would also be mandated to ensure their worshipers keep social distance while they also wear masks and sanitise their hands.
“Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other recognized places of worship may resume services, but these will be limited in size to 50 people or less depending on the space available,” BBC quoted him to have said.
The president explained that the development became necessary given the effect of the pandemic on the religious well-being of the people.
Noting that religious religious leaders play vital role in the community, Ramaphosa also said that the country would observe a national day of prayer on May 31
He added that the move was part of his government’s “three level of easing lockdown restrictions.”
South Africa has been under lockdown since March 27, in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Ramaphosa’s directives come amid calls from several Nigerian clergymen that President Muhammadu Buhari should reopen places of worship.
So far, Nigeria has 8,344 cases of the virus with 249 deaths.