Akwa Ibom State Government has issued instructions to Churches planning to hold the ritual Crossover or Passover service this night of 31st December 2020 to adhere strictly to COVID-19 guidelines.
Amongst other guidelines, the Government warns that the service must not be allowed to last more than 2hours.
The message reads;
AKWA IBOM STATE COVID-19 MANAGEMENT: UPDATE-23
COVID-19 GUIDELINES AND PROTOCOLS DURING THE CROSS OVER SERVICES AND NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, HE, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, ever conscious of the spiritual desire of the majority of the citizens to spend time with their creator during the traditional Christian Cross Over Services in different churches on one hand, and the current spike in the cases of the dreaded COVID-19, has directed as follows:
- Churches planning to hold crossover services must adhere to all the prescribed AKSG/NCDC/WHO and protocols in addition to the guidelines submitted by the Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) to Akwa Ibom State Government.
- For emphasis:
2.1 Social Distancing between individuals throughout the service, must be at least 1 meter.
2.2 There must be a visible ” NO MASK NO ENTRY” notice at all points of entry into every church compound or venue of service. Everyone must wear a face mask properly ( covering both nose and mouth) throughout the service.
2.3 Processions with no social distancing must not be allowed during service.
2.4 Church Wardens, Ushers and Stewards must wear Hand Gloves in addition to their face masks.
2.5 Facilities for Hand washing with running water and sanitizers must be provided at the church premises or venue of service.
2.6 Body temperatures must taken of all worshippers at all entrances into into church buildings and venues of service. Any high temperature must be reported speedily to the nearest medical facility.
2.7 Persons with persistent coughing and/or sneezing and/or breathlessness must be escorted promptly out of the church buiding or venue of service to the nearest medical facility.
2.8. The duration of the service must not be more than 2 hours.
2.9 Church leaders must take personal responsibility for compliance with these guidelines and protocols as law enforcement agencies will ensure strict enforcement of this directive.
Strict compliance with the AKSG/NCDC/WHO and CAN COVID-19 GUIDELINES and PROTOCOLS by all citizens and residents is better than another LOCKDOWN.
We wish everyone a happy new year in advance.
GOD BLESS AKWA IBOM STATE!
Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem
Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, COVID-19 Management Committee,
Akwa Ibom State
Meanwhile, popular Churches in the state had already announced tarrynight services to celebrate the passover.