KENYA: New Guidelines Welcome Elderly over 65, and young Under 6, to Places of Worship

Inter-Faith Council Meets President Uhuru Kenyatta

BY  Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 (CISA) – The Interfaith Council on Covid-19 has transitioned to phase two of the reopening of religious gatherings from October 2 in line with the new directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We will now welcome the elderly over 65 years and young ones under 6 years to the worship. However the vulnerable and sick will continue worshiping at home to avoid contagion,” reads a statement released by Archbishop Anthony Muheria, the Chairman of the Council.

“All the current requirements from guidelines of hand washing or sanitization stations in the compound, and where possible temperature checks, will continue in force,” the council said, directing that, “The number allowed in any space of worship will now be determined by 1.2m social distancing.”

The council has also given green light on group meetings and special groups with strict adherence to social spacing and duration.

The number of those attending funerals and weddings has been revised to 200 with 50 allowed at the graveside.  The council however expressed concerns on flouting of guidelines on Covid-19.

“We have unfortunately witnessed not only a total flouting of all Covid guidelines, rules and protocols, but even the total lack of decency and respect especially from the political class… We must recover the meaning of the funeral as a prayer gathering, and not a political, status, or public spectacle platform. Funerals must return to be funerals,” the said stressing that no food will be served in funerals.

Food in weddings will only be served in strict adherence to 1.5meter social distancing.

“We especially urge religious leaders to continue to follow the guidelines strictly, even when we continue to witness a total disregard especially among our political class. We cannot get tired of giving good examples,” the statement said.

Archbishop Muheria appealed to politicians not to gamble with lives of Kenyans, urging them to postpone public gatherings and set an example of compliance to set guidelines.