FG lifts in­ter­state travel ban, re­opens schools

…do­mes­tic flights to re­sume as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble ...pre­dicts fig­ure may rise to 45,000 by end July

Business Day (Nigeria) - - FRONT PAGE - TONY AILEMEN & IN­NO­CENT ODOH, Abuja

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has lifted the ban on move­ment across state bor­ders ef­fec­tive from July 1, ac­cord­ing to new pro­to­cols for tack­ling coro­n­avirus is­sued on Mon­day by the Pres­i­den­tial Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19. But the in­ter­state move­ment has to

be only out­side the cur­few hours of 10pm-4am, the PTF said.

The gov­ern­ment also said schools could re­open to al­low grad­u­at­ing stu­dents to re­sume classes in prepa­ra­tion for their ex­am­i­na­tions, and also an­nounced “safe re­open­ing of do­mes­tic avi­a­tion ser­vices as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble”.

It reem­pha­sised that schools, in­clud­ing pri­mary and sec­ondary, would re­main closed ex­cept for the fi­nal year class, adding that Nige­ri­ans are still en­dan­gered by the rav­aging pan­demic.

Un­der the new guide­lines, the gov­ern­ment said it would main­tain the cur­rent phase of the na­tional re­sponse for an­other four weeks with some mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

“The cur­rent cur­few will re­main and we will main­tain re­stric­tions on mass gath­er­ing and sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Do­mes­tic avi­a­tion ac­tiv­i­ties will com­mence as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble, while move­ment across state bound­aries will be al­lowed but only out­side cur­few hours. Stu­dents in grad­u­at­ing classes, Pri­mary Six, JSS 3 and SS 3, will be al­lowed to re­sume in prepa­ra­tions for ex­am­i­na­tions,” Sani Aliyu, na­tional co­or­di­na­tor of the PTF, said at the daily brief­ing on Mon­day.

“Fed­eral and state gov­ern­ment of­fices will main­tain their cur­rent tim­ing with only es­sen­tial staff al­lowed at the same level of grade level 14 and above to re­sume work,” he said.

Aliyu said the use of face­masks re­mains manda­tory and that “we will be en­forc­ing this at all lev­els in­clud­ing link­ing up with state gov­ern­ments”.

“Ac­cess to gov­ern­ment and commercial premises will be not al­lowed if you are not wear­ing a face­mask. In other words, no masks, no en­try; no ser­vices will be pro­vided at gov­ern­ment premises and commercial premises for you with­out face­masks,”he­said.“fortheav­i­a­tion in­dus­try, the avi­a­tion is al­lowed tore­sume­do­mes­ti­c­op­er­a­tionas soon as prac­ti­ca­ble in line with the ex­ist­ing in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal guide­lines.”

For in­ter­state travel, Aliyu said move­ment across bound­aries would be al­lowed only out­side the cur­few time ef­fec­tive from July 1.

“We ex­pect the trans­port in­dus­try to ad­here to the Fed­eral Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion safety pro­to­cols and guide­lines that will be re­leased specif­i­cally in re­la­tion to parks and ter­mi­nals,” he said.

He, how­ever, said com­mis­sion­ers of trans­port in states should un­der­take a tour of fa­cil­i­ties and in­form as a pre­con­di­tion for the re­sump­tion of in­ter­state trav­els, adding that non­com­pli­ance with the guide­lines would re­sult in the with­drawal of li­cence for in­ter­state mass tran­sit.

“The PTF ex­pects a strict com­pli­ance with the di­rec­tives at the state level,” he said. “For in­tra-state level, we will main­tain the oc­cu­pancy for buses for 50 per­cent and two per­sons for taxis but we will re­strict move­ments in high bur­den lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas to es­sen­tial trav­els only. This will be part of the strat­egy that will be in­tro­duced.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.