Churches in Ondo State on Sunday reopened after several weeks of lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The state government in March had placed a ban on religious activities as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
Governor Rotimi Aketedolu had last week lifted the ban and ordered churches and mosques in the state to reopen on Fridays and Sundays while all other weekly programmes remained suspended till further notice.
He, however, directed that religious centres must observe COVID-19 protocols including social distancing and worshippers must wear face masks and wash their hands before and after gatherings, noting that mosques or churches that fail to comply would be shut down.
In some of the churches visited by our correspondent in Akure, the state capital, on Sunday, it was observed that the churches complied with the government’s directive as water, soap and sanitisers were provided for use by worshippers.
Worshippers washing their hands before a church service
Also, sitting arrangements in the churches were in compliance with social distancing protocol while members did not shake hands.
An official of the church, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “The church has not opened because certain things needed to be put in place before service can be conducted.”