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COVID Update: Guidelines for Places of Worship

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16th of August, 2020. Georgetown, Guyana, South America

Last updated: August 16, 2020 at 18:13 pm

This article is based on the 15 days COVID-19 lockdown implemented by the Ministry of Health and effective from the 16th of August, 2020 to the 31st of August, 2020.

Read Full Story: Guyana Goes on Tighter COVID-19 Lockdown

Places of Worship

(1) Subject to paragraphs 4 and 7(2), all places of religious worship may be open for religious services and gatherings including the conduct of funerals and weddings.

(2) Religious leaders shall ensure that: –

(a) attendance at religious services and gatherings are restricted to twenty five percent of the capacity of the building where the service or gathering is to be held;

(b) where there are multiple services, there should be no less than 45 minutes between each service to allow for sanitation and cleaning of the facilities;

(c) elderly persons should be given the option to attend services separately and apart from the normal services preferably early in the morning;

(d) the place of worship is cleaned and sanitized immediately before and after all gatherings and services.

(e) sanitation or hand-washing stations are provided for persons to use before and after the service or gathering and where persons enter the place of worship barefoot, ensure that feet washing facilities are provided.

(f) as far as reasonably practicable, and where persons are not from the same household, all persons, whether sitting or standing, maintain a physical distance of six feet from each other in or outside of the place of worship.

(g) every person is wearing a mask fitted to cover the nose and mouth of the person while in the place of worship.

(h) greeting practices are adapted to avoid handshakes, hugs and other forms of physical contact.

(i) individual pre-packaged boxes or servings of religious or ceremonial foods, including communion, are used instead of shared portions from communal containers.

(j) where applicable, persons bring their own personal prayer rugs, coverings or fabric to place over the carpet for daily prayers.

(k) any person who has any flue-like symptoms or respiratory symptoms does not attend services or gatherings;

(l) a room or area is identified where a person could be isolated if he or she becomes ill or begins to develop flu-like symptoms or respiratory symptoms and sure that the Ministry of Health is informed of any person who has those symptoms.

(m) where applicable, when attendees enter a place of worship barefoot, shoes and sandals are placed separately and in bags.

(3) Subparagraph (1) does not prohibit any religious worship by virtual or electronic means.

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