The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) at the weekend released guidelines on easing of the Covid-19 lockdown in the nation’s capital, Abuja with effect from Monday, May 4, 2020 in line with the pronouncement by President Muhammadu in last address to Nigerians.
FCTA vowed to rigorously enforce 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.
The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello in his message to Abuja residents announcing the new guidelines, said security agencies had been mandated to arrest and prosecute, through the Mobile Courts, anyone found contravening the guidelines.
Bello said the FCTA will vigorously enforce the overnight curfew from 8:00pm to 6:00 am and the ban on interstate travel to prevent possible patients of Covid-19 from coming into the Territory.
He directed all workers who reside outside the FCT to remain in their respective States of residence until the ban on interstate travel is lifted.
Giving details of the guidelines, Bello said: “Based on President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Address, the sector-specific guidelines issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Head of Service of the Federation as well as the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, on the phased easing of the lockdown, the following guidelines are hereby issued in the first instance, from 4th -17th May 2020:
✓ An overnight curfew will be applicable in the FCT from 8:00pm till 6:00 am.
PARTIAL RESUMPTION OF CIVIL SERVANTS
✓ 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 8am and 2pm.
✓ 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.
MARKETS AND BUSINESSES
✓ Extant guidelines on market operations for sale of food items only remain in effect. Markets are to operate for two days in a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 8:00am and 3:00pm.
✓ 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 neighborhood markets.
✓ Banks are to open between the hours of 8:00am and 2:00pm 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%.
✓ Residents are encouraged to patronize online banking services as much as possible.
✓ Extant rules regulating restaurants and eateries remain in effect. Restaurants are not open to the public and are encouraged to adopt home delivery services. Similarly, eateries 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 operation, 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.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
✓ The extant directive on places of worship still subsists and they remain closed.
✓ All clubs, bars, gardens, beer parlors, 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 bus stops and motor parks are to maintain environmental hygiene and officials of the parks and bus and taxi operators should provide temperature checks and hand sanitizing points at the parks and bus stops. Face covering is also mandatory. They are to operate only between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm daily.
✓ 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.
SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
✓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.
✓ Schools are however encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teachings.
✓ Residents are once more reminded that COVID-19 can be fatal and all are hereby advised to take all prescribed measures to avoid contracting it. Persons with underlying medical conditions especially hypertension, diabetes, asthma and low immunity are advised to remain at home. Equally, Persons 65 years and older are also advised to remain at home.
✓ Use of face masks by residents in all public places is mandatory.
✓ All business owners and government institutions are hereby directed to de-contaminate their premises, prior to re-opening.
✓ The security agencies have been mandated to arrest and prosecute anyone found to be contravening any of these guidelines through the mobile courts.
The Minister reminded residents that Covid-19 is a very serious ailment that can be fatal and there was the need for residents to follow all laid down health protocols.
He thanked public-spirited individuals, associations and corporate organisations who made very generous donations for the provision of palliatives to those most in need in the Territory.
Bello also thanked volunteers who devoted their time and resources in fighting the pandemic especially the journalists who made appearances on the various radio and television stations to educate residents of the FCTA on their personal and collective responsibilities in the fight against Covid-19.