Interfaith Council extends time for religious gatherings, relaxes age restrictions

Time for religious gathering extended

In Summary

• Numbers will be determined by social distancing (1.5 metres) and size of space available.

• The time limit has also been extended to 90 minutes from one hour; and the age limit is revised to people above the age of six and under 65 years.

Interfaith Council Chairman Archbishop Anthony Muheria and members of the council address press at Ufungamano House, Nairobi on June 27, 2020/ANDREW KASUKU
Interfaith Council Chairman Archbishop Anthony Muheria and members of the council address press at Ufungamano House, Nairobi on June 27, 2020/ANDREW KASUKU

The Interfaith Council on the National Response to the coronavirus pandemic will next week roll out the first phase of the opening of places of worship.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Chairman of the Interfaith Council Rev Anthony Muheria stated that the first phase will begin on August 18, 2020.

Among the new set of guidelines under the first phase include the adjustment of numbers, which will now be determined by social distancing (1.5 metres) and size of space available in the places of worship.

Previously, a maximum of 100 worshipers were to be allowed to attend religious gatherings.

The time limit has also been extended to 90 minutes from one hour; and the age limit is revised to people above the age of six and under 65 years.

The age limit had previously been between 13 and 58 years.

Religious leaders - many of whom are above 58 - were exempted from the rule.

The council said it will take care to follow the indication of wearing face masks at all times, hand washing before and after the worship and keeping social distance.

"We encourage use of thermal guns. Please ensure regular disinfection of places of worship. We however continue to urge all those who are elderly, sick or with health conditions, to still worship from their homes. We need to apply personal responsibility, and not expose ourselves when we are still in the rising infections," Muheria said.

In this first phase that is now set to begin, the total number of attendants in funerals is set at 100 persons.

"We plead that we strictly follow this requirement in order to contain any infection spread through funerals. We also insist that there should not be food sharing as the risk becomes even higher when people remove their masks to eat," the chairman further stated.

The council has also appealed to Kenyans to listen to the cry of those now suffering from Covid-19.

"Please listen to those struggling now in hospitals, for whom we now pray for their recovery. They keep repeating to us,that this thing is real, and we should not wish this illness to anybody. If we can avoid one more person getting it, let us do so!"

 

"We urge all Kenyans whatever your faith, to continue praying to God so that He can bring to an end this terrible scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Let us not tire in praying," the council chairman concluded.