(Updated) Buhari Relaxes Ban on Churches, Mosques

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.*Approves new curfew from 10pm to 4 am
.*Banks to now operate fully
.Schools remain closed
.*Domestic flight operation begins June 21
By Olawale Ajimotokan 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved for implementation over the next four weeks the lifting of ban on Churches and Mosques nationwide from conducting regular services after they were closed several weeks ago to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Chairman, President Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure on Moday at a press briefing in Abuja to announce new protocols and guidelines for the second phase of the ease of restrictions.

The PTF chairman who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation also said the relaxation of restriction on places of worship will be based on the guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments. The approved implementation is to begin from June 2.

The federal government also imposed a ban on the gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace.

There is also a ban on interstate travels apart from movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods and essential services.

It is also mandatory to use non-medical face masks in public places in addition to mandatory provision of handwashing facilities.

Other measures approved by the federal government under the second phase of the easing of the lockdown include approval of a new nationwide curfew from 10 p.m to 4 a.m., replacing the previous curfew that was in place from 8, pm. to 6 a.m.

The National Coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, who gave details of the guidelines, Dr Sani Aliyu, said that the purpose of the new curfew is to reduce public interaction and limit the spread of the virus.

Aliyu added that banks nationwide can now operate fully fives days a week while all schools also remain closed.

The National Coordinator also revealed that the Aviation industry had been asked to develop a protocol for the resumption of domestic flight operation from June 21, while international flights remain suspended.

He said the aviation authority had been asked to develop safety protocols for the resumption of airline regular services including ensuring use of masks, putting in place infrared temperature for passengers and use of sanitisers.

*More to follow…