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The President , Muhammedu Buhari

Why markets free to open between 10am to 2pm for food sales during lockdown-FG

The Federal Government has released implementation guidelines on the lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states.

The National coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, yesterday, released a list of 15 essential services and businesses that have been exempted from the lockdown.

The Federal Government, in the release, authorised the operation of retail food markets for four hours, from 10am to 2pm daily.

It also exempted supermarkets, shopping malls and shops selling food and essential non-food items, like groceries.

Also exempted were shops selling food, drinks and those engaged in food delivery services, but they were barred from allowing customers to eat inside their canteens or refectories.

Government also gave permission for the operation of farms, distributors of food and perishable commodities, manufacturers of food, drugs, pharmaceuticals, private and public hospitals, dental and specialist clinics and chemist shops.

“Mass gathering is prohibited, except for funeral services as guided by infection prevention and control regulations, for which social distancing rules apply and crowds are limited to not more than 20 persons.

“Commuter services between cities and states, including passenger rail services, bus services, e-hailing services, maritime and air passenger transport are suspended for the period of the lockdown in the affected states. Limited transport services are allowed for the movement of workers, services and goods in response to COVID-19 and for the purpose of seeking medical attention or provision of essential services. Transport services available during the lockdown must implement social distancing and hygiene measures,” the government said.

Others on the exemption lists are hotels with guests, but they were ordered not to operate their restaurants, bars or nightclubs.

Banks were permitted to offer skeletal services to maintain ATMs, essential online operations and cash service. Others allowed to operate were fuel stations, registered repair garages, company car services for essential staff, post offices, courier and distribution companies, and private security companies. Telecommunication companies, newspaper, TV, radio and broadcast companies, including newspaper vendors and Internet service providers, were also exempted from the lockdown.

The directive also exempted agencies involved in essential duties like utility companies, electricity distribution and transmission companies, water boards, waste management and environmental health services.


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