Covid-19: Rwanda reopens churches; Churchgoers to be registered at the entrance, no cash offerings

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Rwanda will allow churches to reopen but with strict conditions meant to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to a statement by the prime minister’s office.
Churches and schools were ordered shut across the country on 14 March, hours after the first case of Covid-19 was reported.

The decision to reopen churches came on Wednesday night following a cabinet meeting.
Some of the guidelines for reopening include:
Churchgoers will now have to be registered at the entrance, maintain 1.5m distance and must wear masks, Congregants must not give offerings in cash while children under the age of 12 will not be allowed in.
However, children between the ages of 13 and 18 are allowed to attend but only in the company of a parent or guardian.

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The Rwandan Governance Board also urged that every house of prayer must have hand sanitizers, infrared thermometers and measures to uphold the use of face masks. The number of congregants is also very restricted to avoid overcrowding.

Rwandans online have praised the decision while others have complained that bars – which remain closed – should also be allowed to open. Rwanda has recorded 1,435 cases of Covid-19 and four deaths.

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