The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has explained how the easing of lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state will be implemented.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday, April 27, approved the gradual easing of lockdown in the two states and the FCT as from Monday, May 4.
He said night curfews from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. will, however, be effected in the three areas which have been on lockdown for over four weeks as part of measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19.
Speaking at the daily PTF briefing on Wednesday, the National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said banks and government offices are allowed to resume operations starting from May 4.
He, however, said the resumption will be based on specific grade levels.
Also, Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, said the reopening process will span a total of six weeks broken into three tranches of two weeks each.
“Financial institutions such as banks will be allowed to open but there will be restriction of opening hours between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
“For government offices, government staff will be allowed to resume from the 4th of May but it will be based on specific grade levels and specific days so that we can reduce the amount of congestion that we might have in our government offices and we will be discussing further with state governments to make sure that we have a common approach to this,” he said.
Mr Aliyu said construction, manufacturing sectors, as well as food processing companies, will be allowed to open from Monday.
“In addition to this, from the point of agriculture and rural development, companies involved in food processing can commence operation.
“In construction sites, critical roads will be allowed but waivers will be provided by state governments to enable movement.
“For the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, we will encourage shift work and limiting staff to only 30 to 50 per cent to maintain social distancing and pharmacy shops may remain open overnight,” he said.
Mr Aliyu also noted that restaurants and schools will remain closed until further notice.
He, however, said neighbourhood markets are allowed to operate during the relaxed lockdown.
“Restaurant will not be opened to the public but will be allowed to engage in home delivery of food.
“Schools will remain closed till further evaluation. Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teaching.
“Social activities such as the use of recreational parks. Communal sports, concert, social parties and movie theatres will be suspended until further review.
“Neighborhood markets will continue to open with the same standard and restrictions that we have applied in the past as well as supermarkets, and retail stores,” he said.
Meanwhile, the national coordinator said restrictions on social gatherings remain pending a review of the new measures put in place by the government.
He said there shall be no gatherings of more than 20 persons anywhere per time so as to ensure adherence to physical distancing.
He urged those above 65 years old and with mobility challenges to avoid co-mingling with the general public as to protect themselves from contracting the COVID-19 virus.
“There will be general pieces of advice, for instance, discouraging persons above the age of 65 and those with mobility challenges from co-mingling with the general public so that they protect themselves from catching COVID -19 because they are the ones that are most likely to develop severe illness.
“We will be providing additional details and hopefully the implementation guidelines and the protocols will follow over the next day or two to allow businesses and offices to prepare for these changes,” he said.