Presidency says religious leaders gave assurance on social distancing amid controversial re-opening
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Minister in Presidency Jackson Mthembu says religious leaders have assured the government that they will adhere to strict measures of social distancing when they resume services.
Mthembu was speaking at the government's briefing which outlined regulations governing level 3 of the national lockdown.
The minister was asked to provide scientific evidence and explain the government's reasoning which motivated the National Coronavirus Command Council's decision to allow for religious gatherings to resume.
He said that religious leaders had assured the government that they would adhere to measures. Mthembu said when the outbreak at a church event in Bloemfontein happened it was before restrictions were put in place to ensure social distancing. He said now restrictions were in place to ensure that the virus does not spread.
Places of worship would be allowed to resume services with only 50 people allowed in a venue, hygiene measures should be followed and every congregant should wear a mask.
"We are levelling up that all our churches and mosques will adhere to all the measures we have put in place. They will adhere to social distancing and wearing of masks in the churches. All church leaders in their meetings with the president said they are ready to adhere to all these measures. On what basis could we have said they can't?"
On weddings, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said wedding celebrations were not permitted but people were allowed to get married.
The ministers also dealt with concerns raised by other industries which include the beauty and salon industry. Dlamini Zuma said discussions were still ongoing with various industries especially the ones that had issues with social distancing.
"There are discussions with other industries to look at what other measures need to be taken to mitigate the spread of the virus. The discussion is ongoing, once that is resolved the matter will be concluded," Dlamini Zuma said.