…Extends second phase of eased lockdown by four weeks, schools to reopen…
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday announced the suspension of the ban on inter-state movement across the country with effect from Wednesday, July 1.
This is just as the president also extended the second phase of eased lockdown by another four weeks, with effect from midnight Tuesday, July 30, while schools will also reopen for graduating students in “Primary 6, JSS 3 and SSS 3” to prepare for their exams.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, PTF on Covid-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha who announced this during Monday’s briefing, said the decision was reached after the president received the 5th Interim Report of the PTF.
While stating that the current guidelines will remain in place during the extended period, the SGF noted that the aviation sector will be reopened for domestic flight services to commence “as soon as practicable.
“In doing the foregoing, the PTF considered the need for the continuation of the policy of striking the delicate balance between lives and livelihood as well as inputs received from different stakeholder groups.
“You will recall that the PTF had in previous briefings stated that the aim of Phase Two was to sustain the gains from earlier steps taken for pandemic control and to enable additional sectors of the economy restart activities.
“Given the challenges and the visible danger ahead occasioned by skepticism, poor public perception both leading to lack of compliance, it has come to the inevitable conclusion that the extension of phase two of the eased lockdown will be needed to: consolidate the gains in the areas of the economy that have restarted; ensure better compliance with the health-based response.
“Support the states in enforcing guidelines and protocols as well as strengthening the LGAs build community level structures for ownership and effective risk communication; and help to better achieve the balance between saving lives and ensuring that wellbeing and livelihood of citizens are protected,” he added.
On whether air travel fares would increase with the resumption of flights, the SGF told Nigerians to expect higher prices for any good or service, as it is one of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic brought in.
Meanwhile, national coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu in his remarks, assured that the relaxation of the ban on interstate travels would be respected nationwide, as the PTF had sought the consent of state Governors before issuing the directive.
He however warned that if the safety guidelines as provided are not adhered to, the federal government may be forced to review the easing.
“We expect people to plan their travels, because where ever you are, the curfew from 10pm to 4am still remains,” he warned.
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