Churches and faith-based organizations across Barbados will be able to reopen their doors for services from Monday, June 1.
But it will not be without strict conditions and agreement to follow policies instituted to ensure physical distancing and contact tracing as Government continues to roll out protocols to protect citizens during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall, outlined these measures as he addressed a press conference to update the country on the status of efforts being undertaken in the fight against the deadly virus at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last night.
Conditions for churches to operate include:
- Temperature checks for worshippers before entry into the sanctuary. Those who register high temperatures will not be allowed to worship.
- Attendance registers to assist with contact tracing.
- Physical distancing with persons seated 40 square feet apart according to new regulations.
“We are allowing them to open only on the basis that they can allocate each person in the sanctuary 40 square feet per person. This is now the recognized international standard. So, in terms of your presence in that church, each congregation will only be allowed to function if they can guarantee a minimum of 40 square feet per person,” Mr. Marshall stated.
He used the example that if a church or organization had a floor space of 2,000 square feet, a maximum of 50 worshipers in attendance would be allowed.
However, the Attorney General said the full list of protocols to govern the operation of churches were outlined in a special directive which would be made available to the public.