In a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus, many states have either banned or restricted crossover service, a tradition by Nigerian churches in which worship is held on the last night of the year until the early morning hours new year day.
The crossover service often attracts huge worshipers in which church leaders make proclamations for the new year.
This time, however, crossover service will be celebrated differently due to the pandemic.
Here are states that have announced a ban or restriction on crossover service:
The Ondo State government has banned crossover service across the 18 local government areas of the state.
This was even as the state announced other measures to contain the spread of the virus, including half operations of capacities at clubs, hotels, and supermarkets.
The state also announced that there would be three months imprisonment or N20,000 fine or both for offenders of the guidelines.
On Monday, the Osun State government had placed a ban on crossover service in churches to combat the disease’s spread.
The state government has, however, rescinded its earlier decision.
This was contained in a statement on Tuesday signed by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode.
In the statement titled, ‘Covid-19: Osun gives fresh directives on Crossover Service’, the commissioner said the government’s sensitivity to the season’s mood had necessitated a review of its earlier position.
Egbemode said, “The Government of the State of Osun has decided to allow cross over religious gatherings. But any organisation holding cross over service must note that they are expected to close the service early, and everyone must be off the streets by 1:00 am.
“Security operatives have been given the directive to enforce this guideline. Therefore, religious bodies and citizens are advised to comply because we do not want anyone to spend the first day of the year in police custody.
“Also, the leadership of religious bodies must ensure strict adherence to safety protocols, which include accommodating only 50 per cent capacity of their normal attendance, ensuring social distancing, use of nose mask or face fields by participants, avoidance of sharing materials and instruments and avoidance of any other action that can help the virus to spread.”
The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has also announced similar measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
Abiodun directed that street carnivals be suspended while restricting attendance to crossover services, parties and similar gatherings.
On December 25, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, directed worship centres to suspend all-night services, including vigils and crossover events.
He assured the citizens that the curfew imposed between 12 midnight and 4 am would be strictly enforced.
The Kwara State Government also imposed a partial lockdown and curfew in the state from 12 midnight to 4:30, am till further notice.
Other measures include mandatory use of face masks in public places, while clubs, concert, carnivals are banned till further notice.
The government said no worship centre should exceed 50 per cent of the maximum capacity to allow for proper social distancing.
Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
The Federal Capital Territory administration ordered that all bars, restaurants, leisure gardens, and event centres be shut for five weeks.
Last Wednesday, the Plateau State government stated that there was no plan to lock down the state over the second wave of COVID-19.
Therefore, crossover service could still hold, but not more than 50 per cent of the capacity.
The Ekiti State government announced new restrictions to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the state. It directed the task force and law enforcement agents to begin aggressive compliance enforcement activities in public places, including worship centres, event centres, markets, supermarkets, bars and hotels.
The Edo State government has announced the reintroduction of restrictions and reactivation of disease surveillance and management protocols to curb the widespread coronavirus.
The state had adjusted its curfew to begin from 12 midnight to 4 am daily, starting from December 23, except on December 31, 2020.
Governor Obaseki said, “Wearing of facemask is mandatory in public places. There should be a drastic reduction in the number of people attending religious, political and social gatherings in one place. People are advised not to patronise or enter any public facility without a hand wash station, with soap and running water.”