Religious leaders optmitistic Ramaphosa will keep churches open over Easter

With concerns around a spike in COVID-19 infections over the upcoming religious holidays, the president is expected to make an announcement soon on what measures will be implemented to curb a further spread.

Congregants produce a form of identification to complete the screening process. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Church leaders have said they are optimistic about President Cyril Ramaphosa's response to their request of keeping churches open over the Easter period.

This follows a meeting between religious leaders representing all denominations and churches in the country with Ramaphosa, where they requested that places of worship be reopened to a minimum of 50% capacity – with strict safety protocols.

Last year, not long after the country imposed level 5 lockdown regulations, Easter gatherings were banned.

With concerns around a spike in COVID-19 infections over the upcoming religious holidays, the president is expected to make an announcement soon on what measures will be implemented to curb a further spread.

READ: Religious sector gears up to challenge possible restrictions over Easter weekend

Following a meeting with government this week, representatives from the religious sector said they were hopeful President Ramaphosa would allow places of worship to remain open with a 50% increase in attendance.

This comes as speculation mounts that restrictions under level 2 would be imposed to limit gatherings over the ea#ster period.

However, religious leaders said there was no scientific evidence that places of worship pose a greater risk to the health and safety of people.

Meanwhile, the national coronavirus command council said it was considering proposals on how to manage the spread of the virus over the Easter holiday – but added it cannot discuss the advice it has received so far regarding the matter.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.