*Vows to punish violators of guidelines
By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Thursday lifted the total lockdown imposed on the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor equally warned that communities which violate any of the stipulated protocols would be “isolated and locked down”.
Lalong disclosed this while addressing journalists in Jos.
It would be recalled that Plateau State has been in and out of lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for three months.
He said, “The Lockdown earlier imposed in the State from Sundays to Wednesdays is hereby lifted until further notice.
“The curfew imposed by the Federal Government from 10pm to 6am will continue to be observed until further directives are issued.
“There shall be no entry whatsoever, into public offices, banks, markets, stores, tricycles and vehicles without wearing facemasks.
The Governor warned that “Violators of this order will be arrested and taken before the mobile courts.
Lalong further stated that cultural festivals, anniversaries and large-scale gatherings in the state remain banned.
He also added that a ban on commercial motorcycles remains in force, “except Dispatch Riders and other essential service operators”.
“The ban on illegal Sunday markets on Ahmadu Bello Way and Bukuru Metropolis remains in force.
Speaking about worship places, the Governor said, “Churches and Mosques with large spaces shall be allowed to accommodate more than 50 worshippers under strict observance of the use of facemasks, social distancing, hand washing, use of infrared thermometers and use of sanitizers.
“While details on compliance shall be provided, let me emphasize that all public places like Markets, Shops, Hotels, Restaurants that fail to comply with the hygiene or sanitation regulations, social distancing as well as the use of facemasks shall be penalized and where appropriate, bear any cost or penalty as would be specified”, he warned.
“All public places like Markets, Shops, Hotels, and Restaurants that fail to comply with the hygiene or sanitation regulations, social distancing as well as the use of facemasks shall be shut down and the owners prosecuted”, he further warned.
On return of civil servants to work, Lalong said, “The Head of Civil Service has been directed to work out modalities for the resumption of other categories of civil servants who have been working from home.
He, however, said, while the lockdown is relaxed within the State, “inter-state borders shall remain closed with greater enforcement”.
On resumption of schools, the Governor said, “All Schools are to remain closed.
“As we ease the lockdown, citizens are strongly advised to participate in mass community testing which will be carried out in the State to avoid further spread of the virus.
In order to ensure effective and sustainable implementation of the decisions aforementioned, the Governor assured that a Monitoring Committee consisting of Government officials and leaders of critical stakeholders will be constituted to ensure that there is compliance to the guidelines.