The Federal Government has issued guidelines on the implementation of the phased and gradual easing of the lockdown that was earlier announced by President Muhammadu Buhari, in his nationwide broadcast on April 27, 2020.
The guideline was contained in the circular, which was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha, on April 30, 2020.
It includes general information to the public, guidance to states and security agencies, and a description of the types of activities allowed under phase 1 (May 4th – 11th 2020).
Under general information, the Federal Government noted that there would be phased and a gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory from Monday, May 4, 2020.
The highlights of the actions in the guideline on easing of the lockdown include:
• Prohibition of interstate travel, except for essential travels and services such as transportation of agricultural products, petroleum products, relief items, goods/commodities related to COVID-19 response, and persons on essential duty.
• Provision of handwashing facilities/sanitizers in all public places.
• Mandatory use of non-medical face masks for all persons while in public spaces. However, Latex hand gloves should not be worn except for specific medical purposes.
• Prohibition of mass gatherings of more than 20 people outside of the workplace.
• Controlled access to markets and locations of economic activities.
• Mandatory temperature checks to be conducted in public places.
• Retention of a ban on all passenger flights.
• Restriction of religious gatherings.
• Mandatory supervised isolation of person(s) arriving from outside the country for at least 14 days.
• Social distancing of 2 meters must be maintained among people in workplaces and other public spaces.
• Imposition of overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am.
The penalty for flouting these guidelines will be prosecuted by the relevant authorities.
Protocols for containing COVID-19
• The allowed essential items and services must be done with a limited capacity of a maximum of 50% of the usual occupancy.
• Persons that are above 65 years or those with chronic underlying illnesses are advised to stay at home.
• Anybody with a temperature above 38 degrees centigrade will be mandated to return home and call NCDC for evaluation.
• Trucks carrying agricultural and animal products are to be allowed easy passage. Also, companies involved in food processing are to start operations.
• Waivers to be provided by state governments to enable movement for construction works on critical roads. Other measures like maintaining social distancing and a limited number of people will still apply. They are allowed to open between 6 am and 6 pm.
• Banks and other financial institutions, while expected to open, should limit the number of staff physically working in the office to between 30% and 50%.
• Government offices to open, but limited to those on essential services and grade level 14 and above. Number of people physically working, to be limited to between 30% and 50%.
• Corporate offices, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, and pharmacy shops can be open, but should limit the number of people physically working there to between 30% and 50%. Shift work is encouraged just as pharmacy shops may remain open overnight.