With President Uhuru Kenyatta set to lift some of the measures he put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Inter-Faith Council and other religious leaders were tasked to oversee the gradual re-opening of places of worship.
On Thursday, the Council of Governors (CoG) Chief Whip and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana met the religious leaders at Ufungamano House to present their proposals for the re-opening of places of worship
Proposals by Council of Governors
In some of the measures, the Council of Governors highlighted the need to ban crusades and overnight prayers also known as ‘Keshas’.
The ban will also be extended to pilgrimage visits, Sunday School, Sabbath School, Madrassas and Yeshivas.
The Council of Governors also pushed for the use of contactless payment of tithes and offerings. This will see the churches adopt the use of Safaricom’s MPESA service and bank account numbers.
“Those touching any papers in the form of cheques or cash must wear gloves and sanitize their hands.”
During the services, the CoG has recommended the use of pre-recorded devotional songs to be permitted and consider a ban of using holy water, use sandalwood paste and touching of holy statues in the places of worship.
Churches shall be required to provide for each service with adequate supplies including handwashing facilities, clean running water, soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
A sanitizing station must be set up close to the door, for people entering & leaving the building.
The churches will also ensure transportation arrangements or ushers are in place, to ensure all individuals leave immediately after the service.
Under the new guidelines, priests and pastors conducting the Holy Communion will be required to disinfect their hands while giving the communion. Congregants lining up will respect physical distancing
The Inter-Faith committee has also recommended for the closure of Mosques ablution areas. This is where the Muslim faithful cleanse their body parts in preparation for formal prayers.
Muslim Faithful will be encouraged to wash their feet and hands before prayer time if they are coming from home or work.
Further, in each Mosque and Synagogues worshippers to bring their own prayer rugs and prayer shawls which they can take back home.