Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has suspended commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, across Lagos State ahead of the expiration of the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government.
He also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 8pm to 6am beginning from Monday, May 4 as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in a nationwide broadcast on Monday, April 27.
The set of new guidelines, Mr Sanwo-Olu said in at a briefing at the State House in Marina, are to safeguard the gains the state has made in the past four weeks in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, from Monday, Sanwo-Olu said the state government will be implementing the dusk-to-dawn curfew as part of the phased measures to reduce risk of contagion of the COVID-19 disease among residents and to consolidate on the response strategy deployed to combat the pandemic.
The governor announced that state public officers from level 1 to 12 should remain and work from home unless otherwise directed.
Sanwo-Olu’s new framework made fundamental changes to public transportation system and business dealings at corporate offices, local markets and malls.
All passenger buses are not permitted to load to full capacity, Sanwo-Olu ordered in the new guidelines. All commercial vehicles, the governor said, must carry maximum of 60 per cent of full capacity and their drivers must use face mask and observe other prescribed hygiene tips.
The governor also suspended the operation of commercial motorcycles across the State, with the exception of those used for courier and logistics purposes.
He directed the drivers of tricycles (Keke NAPEP) operating in unrestricted areas not to carry more than two passengers per trip and the passengers must keep appropriate distance.
Besides, food handlers at public eateries and restaurants have been mandated to wear masks and hand gloves at all times, especially during the preparation and serving of foods.
Only take-out meals and delivery services will be permitted at eateries and restaurants, Sanwo-Olu ordered, warning that in-dining services will not be allowed at the moment.
The governor said all businesses that will re-open next week must operate between the hours of 9am to 3pm. The new directive on business operating hours affects all corporate firms, banks, malls and local markets.
“There will be a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 8pm to 6am daily. This means that we expect all Lagos residents to stay in their homes in these hours, except those in essential services.
“All commuters are mandated to wear face masks at all times, sanitise with alcohol-based sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and running water before and after of every trip. All motor parks and garages must avoid overcrowding. Social distancing is required for passengers queuing up to board buses.
“All buses should be loaded to a maximum of 60 per cent of full capacity. No standing allowed in all BRT and LBSL bus operations. All air- conditioning systems in public transport systems must be switched off.
“Commercial Motorcycles, popularly known as Okadas, are to suspend their operations state-wide, except for those motorcycles used for courier and logistics purposes. Tricycles (Kekes) operating in unrestricted areas, must not carry more than two passengers per trip and must ensure appropriate social distancing is maintained between passengers,” he said.
In addition, the governor announced the restriction of operating hours of water transportation companies to the period between 6am and 6pm daily.
He said under no circumstance should vehicles carrying food items have more than seven passengers.
All public and private schools from primary level to tertiary education must remain closed, Sanwo-Olu directed. He said online classes and lessons that had already been started must continue until further notice.
The governor added that banking operations must fall within the stipulated hours of 9am to 3pm, adding that banks’ managements must ensure regular cleaning and decontamination of their ATM machines and devices regularly used by the public.
“Companies that choose to operate within this controlled easing phase are to operate between 9am and 3pm. They are also directed to operate at a maximum of 60 per cent of their staff capacity.”
Entertainment centres, such as event centres, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, day clubs, nightclubs and beaches shall remain closed till further notice.
Swimming pools, gyms, barbershops, spas, beauty salons, and all public parks, including those in private and residential estates, will continue to remain closed for another two weeks in the instance, at which point we will review and advise on the permissible opening date for these establishments, he said.
Sanwo-Olu warned that the government’s whistle-blower channels will be fully opened to report companies that would flout the new directives. He said whistle-blowers would be guaranteed full protection and their identities will be kept strictly confidential.