The national coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, has explained how the third phase of the gradual easing of lockdown will be implemented.
Mr Aliyu, while speaking at the bi-weekly briefing of the task force, on Thursday, said the new guidelines will be effective from Friday, September 4.
Nigeria imposed its first round of lockdown in March. Mr Buhari on April 27 announced the gradual easing of the five-week lockdown in FCT, Lagos and Ogun State.
The lockdown was eased to a nationwide night curfew (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) from May 4 to May 17.
The curfew was later amended by many state governments to commence from 10:00 p.m.
The first phase of the relaxed lockdown was extended by two weeks and elapsed midnight June 1. The second phase which commenced on June 2 and elapsed on June 29 was extended by four weeks.
The additional four weeks elapsed midnight July 29 but was extended by one week due to the Sallah celebrations and elapsed midnight, August 6. It was further extended by four weeks and elapses midnight today, September 3.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, had announced that the third phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown in the country will commence on September 4.
Mr Mustapha, who is also the chairman of the task force, said this phase will last for four weeks as approved by President Buhari.
Mr Aliyu said the existing nationwide curfew of 10 p.m to 4 a.m imposed by President Buhari to further limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus has been reviewed.
He said the curfew would henceforth be from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. daily.
”We are modifying the curfew to commence from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. nationwide, effective from 12:00 tonight.
“This does not apply to people on essential services and international travellers that might be returning from abroad,” he said.
Mr Aliyu earlier said the purpose of the curfew is to limit social interactions and, therefore, reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
Schools, restaurants, hotels
He said hotels will continue to remain open while observing necessary preventive measures.
“Amusement parks, gyms and cinemas can open but at half capacity. Event centres that provide outdoor service spaces can open but not indoors event centres.
“Eateries and restaurants can only open for outdoor services and we will make sure this is complied with.
“Bars and night clubs will remain closed till further notice,” he said.
He said the Nigerian international travel portal will be activated today, September 3.
“It is mandatory for persons coming into the country to have valid negative COVID PCR test results before boarding and this needs to be valid within 96 hours from accredited laboratories, preferably 72 hours before boarding,” he said.
He said the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is to consolidate on safety measures currently being put in place and start preparing for reopening of orientation camps when educational institutions reopen.
“We are in the process of developing a strict guideline to ensure that there is no outbreak of COVID-19 when orientation camps reopen,” he said.