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COVID-19: FG lifts ban on religious gathering, but…

…Banks to open fully, inter-state travel ban remains, mandatory wearing of face masks, etc

By Hassan Zaggi

The Federal Government has approved the opening of places of worship, but, for what it described as regular Church and Mosque services only.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at a media briefing on Monday.

According to him, the relaxation of the restriction of the places of worship will be based on guidelines issued by the PTF and Protocols agreed by the state governments.

He noted that the ban on gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace is still in place and that there will be managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission.

The new rules, the SGF said, will be implemented “over the next four weeks spanning from June 2nd – 29, 2020, subject to review.”

According to the new guidelines, the nationwide curfew has been adjusted to begin from 10pm-4am and the full opening of the financial sector for normal working hours.

However, according to the new guidelines, inter-state travel remains prohibited except for goods and essential travels.

The aviation industry, according to the new guidelines, is requested to develop protocol for domestic flight to “possibly resume from June 21.”

The SGF further noted that the President had approved the mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places; mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places; extensive temperature checks in public places; maintaining 2 metres between people in public places and the strengthening infection prevention and control at healthcare facilities; among other guidelines.

While calling on Nigerians to take responsibility, Mustapha said: “This is still a fight for life and our advancement to phase two does not mean that COVID-19 has ended.

“It is still potent and highly wasteful of human lives. I implore all Nigerians and corporate citizens to take responsibility and play the expected role.”

The SGF, however, lamented that majority of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local governments in the country, stressing that, “20 out of the 774 LGAs nationwide account for 60% of the cases.”

This, he stressed, is an opportunity to concentrate efforts in these high-burden areas.

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