Archbishop Anthony Muheria
The rules for the gradual reopening of places of worship in Kenya amid the Covid-19 pandemic have been revised to give congregants more time to worship.
Starting August 18th, churches and mosques will be allowed to hold services lasting up to 1 hour 30 minutes as opposed to the 60 minutes announced by President Kenyatta on July 6th.
The Inter-Faith Council on Tuesday said the decision to increase worship time by 30 minutes was informed by the high (90 percent) compliance rate to the rules announced by Kenyatta last month.
“Having seen the high level of compliance in places of worship, we are convinced that Kenyans will now follow the requirements to an acceptable degree, especially in worship gatherings in the course of the week and in their main days,” the council's chair Archbishop Anthony Muheria said.
The council further reviewed the age limit for worshippers to persons aged between 6 and 65. Previously only people aged between 13 and 58 were allowed to attend services as part of the measures to avert the spread of Covid-19.
“We however urge all elderly, sick, and other conditions to worship at home,” added Muheria.
In addition, places of worship are free to accommodate more than 100 people at a go as long as the 1.5-meter social distance rule is observed.
“We shall especially take care to follow the indication of wearing face masks at all times, hand-washing, and regular disinfection of places of worship. We urge all those who are elderly, sick, or with health conditions to still worship from their homes,” he added.
On burials, the council said up to 100 mourners will be allowed to attend but the gravesite will be restricted to 15 people. The ban on the sharing of food in funerals remains.
“This is a reasonable number that is not too constricting. We plead [with you to] strictly follow this requirement to contain infections. We also insist that there should not be food sharing as the risk becomes higher when people remove their masks to eat,” he stated.