Thursday, 30 April 2020

COVID-19 Restrictions: Government Offices to Reopen Next Monday

The Federal Government on Wednesday said government offices across the country can resume for skeletal services from next Monday. The National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said this during the 22nd joint national briefing of the committee.

Aliyu, who said the resumption will be based on specific grade levels, added that the banking, construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as food processing companies, will also be allowed to open from Monday. According to him, the banks will be allowed to open from 8am to 2pm daily, while observing the new restrictions put in place by the government. “Temperature test, respiratory hygiene and restriction of gathering of not more than 20 persons will be introduced and the task force would be engaging with state governments to make sure that the PTF have a common approach to the opening of offices.

"For government offices, government staff will be allowed to resume from the 4 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. 

“Banks will be allowed to open but there will be restriction in the opening hours to between 8am to 2pm and together with all the other preventive measures I have already mentioned.

"In addition to this, from the point of agriculture and rural development, companies involved in food processing can commence operation. In construction sites, critical road 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,” Aliyu said.

 He, however, said that restaurants and schools remained closed, but that 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 theaters 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,” Aliyu said. 

President Muhammadu Buhari had eased the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States, effective from Monday, May 4. The lockdown was imposed on March 29 as part of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the country. But Buhari, in a national broadcast on Monday, announced that he had approved gradual easing of the lockdown measures. 

He said: “I have approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May


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