Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Places of worship closed in Swaziland as coronavirus lockdown rules ignored

The Swaziland (eSwatini) Government has closed five places of worship after police raided them and found they were breaking coronavirus lockdown regulations. 

The Swazi Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement the police and the Ministry conducted a random inspection in the southern Hhohho region. 

A Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson said five places of worship were visited and immediately shut down for ‘flouting’ coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations. The action came as the number of reported deaths from coronavirus in the kingdom continues to rise and is approaching 100.

The spokesperson said, ‘Primarily, the affected places of worship either were without permits to increase gatherings, were without hand sanitisers or running water for washing hands, did not observe two-metre social distancing, had children below the age of 10 years in attendance and some congregants were spotted without face masks.’

Guidelines are in place across Swaziland which has been in partial lockdown since March 2020. Random inspections will continue.

Meanwhile, the Swazi Government has extended for a further month the ban on the production and sale of alcohol within the local market during the coronavirus crisis. Manufacturers had petitioned the government for the ban to be relaxed. 

In a statement the Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini said investigations had shown clusters of coronavirus cases related to group alcohol consumption and some people had shared a single drinking container.

See also

Top Royal presses Swaziland Govt to send riot police, army into homes to confiscate alcohol

Swaziland bans alcohol production and sales, threatens media as coronavirus lockdown extended

Swaziland public transport in chaos as bus workers strike over coronavirus lockdown

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