by Linda Ikeji
The Federal government has asked airlines to begin the process for the resumption of international flights.
National coordinator of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Aliyu Sani, disclosed this at the daily press briefing of the task force today Thursday, August 6.
In his words
“The restrictions in the entertainment and education sector as well as other activities that attract mass gatherings such as operation of markets and worship centres, remain. Specific to air transportation, domestic operations have already resumed as well as the railways.
For international travel, we have made recommendations to the aviation industry to commence the process for opening international airports provided all existing international and local prevention guidelines on Covid-19 are in place.
We have modified the advice with regards to the arrival for flights. Passengers arriving at the airports for domestic flights are advised to arrive at least one and a half hours before their flights and three hours before international flights when it is restarted.
There might be requirements for additional infrastructure in some of the airports. What we want to do, and we have made it very clear at the PTF is, we want to reopen as soon as possible but in a safe manner that does not put at risk all the efforts we have made to control this pandemic. Hopefully, the airports would open in weeks, rather than months. That is what we are looking at” he said
Aliyu also announced that the 10pm to 4am nationwide curfew still remains. He also announced that daycares and primary schools remain closed and should only open for those in exiting classes that require to sit for their transiting examinations. He said gyms, bars and cinemas remain shut.
“For community activities as it relates to daycare and primary schools, all daycare and primary schools are to remain closed till further evaluation.
However, while primary schools must remain closed, registered pupils may proceed to take the National Common Entrance as soon as it is feasible, provided there is compliance with issued non-pharmaceutical guidelines. For secondary and tertiary institutions, these remain closed. However, we have made arrangements for exiting and graduating students in their final year of secondary school to partake in exams in line with guidelines issued by the Federal Ministry of Education.
However, schools must comply with the six (6) recommended steps and required measures issued by the Federal Ministry of Education and which is available online. There are no new changes to places of worship – our policy remains the same.
We continue to allow personalised services such as mechanics, artisans, hair salons etc. who own their own workshops or workstations, and can clearly adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions.
“For hotel restaurants and eateries, hotels may continue to remain open but must observe all mandatory non-pharmaceutical interventions. Restaurants have to maintain the takeaway/ delivery system until further notice. Bars, gyms, cinemas and nightclubs remain closed until further evaluation.” he said
The PTF coordinator also disclosed that the management of the National Youth Service Corps NYSC has been told to start working towards resumption in the next phases of the eased lockdown.