Churches and other places of worship in Meghalaya will reopen from June 14, after remaining shut for over two months, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said on Friday. Religious institutions in the Christian-dominated state have been shut since the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown in March.
"Meeting with various religious leaders was held today with Hon'ble Ministers and officials. Places of worship will reopen from the 14th of June with due adherence to safety protocols laid by the Govt. I thank all our religious leaders for their unwavering support and cooperation," Sangma tweeted.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had on Thursday issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for religious institutions outside containment zones.
Similar protocols will be followed in Meghalaya to prevent the spread of COVID-19, said a senior state health official.
All churches will have to keep hand sanitisers and face masks for devotees and conduct thermal screening of visitors, he said, adding that social distancing in seating arrangement and management of queues on the premises has to be ensured.
The state administration has also prohibited devotees from touching statues, idols or holy books and proposed that the floors of the religious institutions be sanitised multiple times every day, he added.