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Buhari approves gradual easing of lockdown from May 2



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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday approved phased and gradual easing of lockdown in the front line states of Lagos and Ogun, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where the federal government has imposed restriction of movement in the past four weeks. The president in a national broadcast on Monday evening, relying on the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19,  the various Federal Government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, declared his approval “for a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Saturday, 2nd May, 2020 at 9am.”

President Buhari maintained that this will, however, be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors.

The President declared: “highlights of the new nationwide measures are as follows:

  1. Selected businesses and offices can open from 9am to 6pm.
  2. There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. This means all movements will be prohibited during this period except essential services.
  3. There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travel until further notice.
  4. Partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers; and
  5. We will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public, in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene.

President Buhari maintained that the restrictions on social and religious gatherings shall remain in place.

He further stated that State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

The President, however, declared: “For the avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States shall remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Saturday, 2nd May 2020 at 9am.”

He said that the Presidential Task Force shall provide sector specific details and timing guidelines to allow for preparations by Governments, businesses and institutions.

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