COVID-19: Ogun orders full reopening of churches, mosques, hotels, others.

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Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

The governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday, ordered full reopening of religious centres such as mosques and churches while markets, hotels, viewing centres, event centres, guest houses among others can also now operate in full swing just as they were before the lockdown put in place to checkmate spread of Covid-19.

Gov Abiodun conveyed this piece of glad tiding in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kunle Somorin and made available to journalists at Abeokuta, the state capital. He said that decision was premised on the significant drop in Covid-19 cases in the state.

The governor however urged the hospitality establishments to scrupulously adhere to a set of guidelines in order to keep up with the protocols aimed at further flattening the curve of COVID-19.

“Government is aware of the excruciating implications of COVID-19 lockdown but we have emplaced measures and improved on testing to stem the tide. Empirical field research indicates that we have managed to stem community spread and treatment of the virus very well. We are convinced that opening of schools and entertainment centres would not harm our people. We would continue to monitor the development,” Governor Abiodun said.

While reinstating the need to rebuild the economy, the State government maintained that it was irrevocably committed to the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda and as such would do everything possible to ensure that the people have increased prosperity that would place the State on a sound footing towards continued development.

The statement said that government would not hesitate to do selective lockdown should there be any flagrant disobedience to the set COVID-19 protocols.

These conditions set for the reopening of the entertainment centres according to the statement are observance of temperature checks at all entry points, compulsory use of face masks within the premises/facilities, maintenance of two-metre social distancing by marking the floor to guide their customers on physical distancing, owners of business premises are required to offer only 50% of their space capacity to guests.

Others are maintenance of physical distancing with a maximum of four persons per table, while Buffet services are not allowed, prior to holding any event, licence and safety clearance must be obtained from the Government while the operation of all cinemas must not exceed 10pm.

The statement added that all centres are to provide noise-proof equipment in the various facilities to ensure that they do not disturb the serenity of the neighborhoods where they operate.

While calling on owners of these facilities to cooperate with the state government, Governor Abiodun warned that facilities that defy these guidelines would be sanctioned.

“Let me say that our Task Force is already on the ground and is moving about to ensure compliance.

“And, if perchance we discover that any of our centres is not complying or adhering to the laid down protocols, we will not hesitate to close down the centre,” he warned.

Violation of these conditions, the statement concluded, would attract severe sanctions including, but not limited to fine and closure of premises.