President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reopening of cinemas, gyms and amusement parks after months of shutdown.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in February 2020 had crippled a lot of social and economic activities as Nigeria, like many other countries globally, went into lockdown.
The government started lifting restrictions in May with many sectors reopening since then, albeit in limited capacities.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 announced during its media briefing on Thursday, September 3 that President Buhari approved its recommendations to move into the third phase of eased lockdown after the second phase had been extended three times.
One of the key adjustments made was the reopening of cinemas, gyms, and amusement parks that have been directed to restart operations only at half capacity.
Event centres that provide outdoor spaces can also reopen but not indoor event centres. Bars and night clubs will remain closed, according to the PTF’s national coordinator, Sani Aliyu.
He said educational institutions will remain closed but should begin to work towards potentially reopening within the third phase of eased lockdown.
He urged state governments to conduct risk assessments to ensure all schools are at acceptable levels of compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Aliyu said even when schools reopen, it must be staggered and carried out in phases to ensure it doesn’t pose a risk to the public.
He also noted that National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camps will likely reopen at the exact same time as schools.
The nationwide curfew hours were also adjusted from between 10 pm and 4 am to between 12 am and 4 am, effective Friday, September 4 when the third phase of eased lockdown begins.
“This does not apply to people on essential services and international travellers that might be returning from abroad,” Aliyu said.
The Federal Government also removed all restrictions on opening days and limits in stores, but store owners must take responsibility by abiding by non-pharmaceutical measures to safeguard staff and customers.