Members of the Christian community are being urged to take extra precautions when attending church services this Christmas season.
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said in addition to obeying the Covid precautionary measures at all times, churches must also observe the 10:30 pm curfew.
“Our guidelines are very clear, and that is, we have a curfew that starts from 10:30 in the night and therefore, persons who are normally accustomed to having mass later on, they’ll have to adjust to these guidelines,” he said, during Thursday’s COVID-19 update.
Dr. Anthony said for Catholic churches, the Vatican has provided special guidelines for services and meetings. Other denominations may consider similar alternative arrangements.
“Like on Christmas Day, instead of having maybe one mass, they are now permitting that you can do more than one mass with smaller gatherings of people so that everybody who was desirous of going to church can do so in a safe environment, and I guess for other denomination of Christianity they may have similar arrangements in place. But again, we want to urge people to take these precautions seriously.”
He added: “I don’t think anybody would like to have their congregants coming to church and getting infected. So, we all need to abide by these guidelines and once we do so, we all will be safe.”
When the fourth phase of Guyana’s reopening started in August, places of worship were allowed to restart in-person worship, prayers, weddings and funerals with strict guidelines. Attendance was restricted to 25 per cent of the building capacity and in the case of multiple services, the sanctuary had to be cleaned and sanitised before and after every assembly. Each gathering was also limited to 45 minutes and congregants had to be outfitted with masks and avoid handshakes and other forms of physical contact. These guidelines remain in place.