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Covid-19: Don’t come into FCT, Minister warns Abuja civil servants living in Nasarawa, Niger states

…Exempts those on ‘essential duties’ 
…Bans ‘Okada’ from FCC, Kubwa, Dutse-Alhaji 
…Religious houses, Schools remain closed 

Following the partial lifting of the lockdown imposed on the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Lagos and Ogun state, FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has warned civil servants living in the contiguous states of Nasarawa and Niger but working in the nation’s capital not to resume work until further notice. “All workers who reside outside the FCT have been directed to remain in their respective States of residence until the ban on interstate travel is lifted”, the minister said in an updated list of guidelines on the ease of lockdown, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye.

 In the updated guidelines, the minister said those on essential duties who reside in those states are to continue with their assigned tasks in the FCT. According to him, the ban on commercial motorcyclists from operating within the Federal Capital City FCC, as well as Kubwa and Dutse-Alhaji, remain in force. The Federal Government had earlier eased the lockdown, directing some senior civil servants to resume work three days in a week as from Monday and then close by 2 pm. Only government staff on essential duties and those on Grade Level 14 to 17 were affected by that directive. However, according to the FCT Administration, those senior civil servants who leave in the contiguous states, and who are not on essential duties are now to remain at home.

Bello who said the FCTA will enforce rigorously the guidelines regulating the easing of the lockdown in the FCT as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Territory added that security agencies have been mandated to arrest and prosecute, through the mobile courts, anyone found contravening the guidelines. The guidelines, issued in the first instance, would take effect from 4th -17th May 2020. He said the FCTA will vigorously enforce the overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am and in order to prevent possible patients of COVID-19 from coming into the Territory, will also enforce very strictly, the ban on interstate travel. According to the guidelines, “effective Monday, 4th May 2020, all civil servants in the FCT on Grade level 14 and above are to report for work 3 times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 8 am and 2 pm. “All officers on essential duties are to carry on with their assigned responsibilities. “All workers are to maintain safe distancing protocols of at least 2 meters and wear face masks at all times;

Temperature checks and hand sanitizing protocols should be strictly adhered to at all entry points and access to offices tightly controlled; Number of visitors and customers are to be limited to enforce social distancing guidelines. “All workers who are not resident in the FCT are directed to remain in their respective States of residence until the ban on interstate travel is lifted”. Despite the ease of the lockdown, markets are to operate only on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 8 am and 3 pm, while the Administration said neighbourhood selling points will be established in various parts of the city to decongest the major markets. “Wearing of face mask is mandatory to gain access to markets in addition to hand washing and sanitizing protocols.

The above hygiene-related protocols are also applicable to supermarkets and neighbourhood markets. “Banks are to open between the hours of 8 am and 2 pm and are to observe temperature checks, hand sanitizing protocols as well as the use of face masks for staff and customers. Banks are to limit access by customers to allow for safe distancing reasons and limit the number of staff working on their premises to between 30% and 50%. “Restaurants are not open to the public and are encouraged to adopt home delivery services. Similarly, entries are to practice the take-away system and are to maintain all hand sanitizing, face-covering and safe distancing protocols. “Pharmacies may remain open overnight and are to observe all other protocols as enunciated above. Companies involved in food processing, drug manufacturing and construction can commence operations, subject to following the approved health and safety guidelines.

Operators of these facilities are mandated to refuse access to anyone not observing the hygiene protocols. “The extant directive on places of worship still subsists and they remain closed. “All clubs, bars, gardens, beer parlours, recreational parks, communal sports facilities, movie theatres etc in the FCT remain closed. Ban on social congregations such as parties, weddings etc remain in force. “Prohibition of commercial motorcycles within the FCC remain in force including Kubwa and Dutse Alhaji. Tricycles are to limit their activities to areas already designated and are allowed a maximum of 3 persons (driver and two passengers). Taxis are mandated to carry a maximum of 4 persons at a time (driver and 3 persons). Buses are to reduce occupancy at any time to 50% of installed capacity. “All schools in the FCT remain closed until further notice. Schools are not permitted to commence third term operations in any form until directed otherwise by the relevant authorities. “The FCTA will enforce very strictly, the ban on interstate travel. Vehicles conveying goods such as agro products, petroleum products, medical supplies, relief and construction materials as well as courier and security services would be allowed entry subject to the permitted designation in the FCT”, the statement added.

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