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COVID-19: Nigeria reopens places of worship, local flights to resume

Nigeria has further relaxed the lockdown in the country due to COVID-19 pandemic by lifting the ban on the opening of churches and mosques.  

National Coordinator of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the virus and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, announced this on Monday, June 1, 2020 at the daily briefing of the body, in Abuja.

He stated that the latest measure is the second phase of a gradual ease of the lockdown which has lasted over two months.

Mustapha however warned that the ban on inter-state travel was still in place.

He listed the recent measures to include:

  • Relaxation of restriction on places of worship based on guidelines, issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.
  • Managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission.
  • Ban on inter-state travels except for the movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods, and essential services,
  • Mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places,
  • Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places.

Also speaking at the briefing, Mustapha declared that schools remain closed.

Similarly, the Federal Government has adjusted curfew hours across the country to 10:00 pm to 4:00 am.

National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, announced on Monday during a briefing in Abuja that the measure, just like approval for the reopening of worshipping places, takes effect from Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

He said: “Effective from tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, the easing of the lockdown will be characterised by the following: the nationwide curfew will remain in place but the timing of this will be reduced to 10pm to 4am.

“And just to clarify, the purpose of the curfew is to limit social interactions and, therefore, reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.”

On banks, Dr. Aliyu announced that the financial sector’s full operations would take effect from Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

“There will be full opening of the financial sector with banks now allowed to operate normal working hours five days a week.”

Also, local flights are scheduled to resume operations from Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Dr Aliyu said: “The aviation industry is requested to start developing protocols to allow for domestic flights to resume anytime from the 21st of June onward.

“Airlines must ensure physical distancing by reducing passenger capacity and ensure the provision of sanitisers and personal protective equipment as well as carrying out temperature checks at the point of entry and departure and ensuring that airports are not congested by either travelers or airports staff.”

It will be recalled that the PTF met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday and recommended, among others, that the state governors should be in charge of COVID-19 incidents in their domains, but with the federal government’s coordination.

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