The Akwa Ibom State government has relaxed the COVID-19 lockdown in the state and has also imposed the wearing of face masks in public places.
Governor Udom who made the announcement which formed part of his statewide broadcast on Saturday, noted that the order was part of modalities that will guide the gradual lifting of the lockdown of the state.
During the statewide broadcast, Governor Udom said that the reopening of the state is in line with guidelines from the federal government to relax some restrictions which were put in place to enable the country manage the pandemic, saying the state would seize this opportunity “to open up our economy and put our State back to work again”.
Governor Emmanuel stated that ‘‘the use of face mask by all persons is now compulsory in public places”.
The directive also stated that “a dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed all over the state from the hours of 8 pm to 6 am effective Monday, May 4th, 2020.
“The ban on religious gatherings, hospitality services, social gatherings, parties, funerals and concerts remain in effect until further notice. All plazas and recreational centres are to remain closed. All schools will remain closed until further notice.
“However, our School on Radio programme on AKBC Radio which has been hugely welcomed and popular will continue to address the instructional and teaching needs of our students until we are able to reopen schools”, he stated.
The guideline, however, maintained the ban on non-essential inter-State movements, stating that it remains prohibited except those involving agricultural produce or medical personnel and equipment. Similarly, it stated that markets will be opened three times a week, (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) between 10 am – 4 pm to enable people to stock up their supplies. Face masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed by all.
On movement within the state, the governor directed that “all passengers using public transport must make use of face mask. Tricycles must not carry more than three passengers. Taxis must carry a maximum of three persons (One in front and two behind), and buses must not carry more than two persons per row. All public transport operators must provide hand sanitizers in their vehicles. Also, remember that the ban on commercial motorcycles within the precincts of Uyo capital city is still in effect”.
He revealed that “farmers will be allowed to carry out their tasks and freely transport their food items while wearing face masks and not be more than three people in any given public transport vehicle. Agricultural produce will be allowed free and easy movement across the State – the use of face masks must be enforced”.
In addition, Governor Emmanuel directed that in order to help reopen the state economy and get the machinery of governance moving again, “a phased resumption of duties will come into effect. All Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries should work out modalities that will get the staff of their respective Ministries to return to work in batches.
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