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Lagos bars foreign participants from 2020 regatta, festival

As part of measures to check the spread of the deadly Covid-19 (coronavirus) in Lagos, the state government is limiting participation in the 2020 Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival only to local tourists and fun lovers.

The regatta and festival scheduled to hold during this year’s Easter celebration may, however, be delayed.

The state commissioner for tourism, arts and culture, Uzamat AkinbiIe-Yusuf told journalists that the government was adopting this measure to ensure that participants in the festival were safe from the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The virus which broke out in China has spread fast to countries around the world with United Kingdom, United States, Iran, Italy, Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroun among several others recording deaths or battling further spread.

 Across Africa, hundreds of International flights have been canceled and visas issued to nationals from high risk countries revoked.

AkinbiIe-Yusuf said that the state government was not cancelling the three-day greater Lagos festival, but taking steps to ensure safety of fun seekers by disallowing foreign participation.

The festival, an initiative of the state ministry of tourism arts and culture, is being organised in partnership with Gradient Hill Company Limited. It is designed to espouse the tourism potential of the state and market the Lagos brand to tourism investors across the world.

“Our intention is to market Lagos tourism to investors beyond the shores of this country, we want them to see and appreciate the rich cultural heritage and Aquatic endowment of the state.

“We are restricted to limit participants for this event to tourists and fun lovers within Nigeria because we do not want to expose Nigerians to the raging coronavirus across the world,” she said.

The state government, she added, prioritises the well-being of its citizens and would not compromise the safety of any resident.

 “We have concluded plans to provide a section where people can wash their hands. In addition to this, we are equally going to have enough provisions for sanitisers to complement other precautionary measures that would still be put in place through our working relationship with the ministry of health, she added.

 

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