FG Lifts Ban on Interstate Travels, Opens Schools for Graduating Students

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The federal government has approved what it called safe reopening of schools nationwide in phase two of the gradual easing of lockdown that was yesterday extended for another four weeks.

But only graduating students in primary six, Junior Secondary School three (JSS 3) and Senior Secondary School three (SSS 3) will resume.

It has also lifted the ban on interstate travels with effect from tomorrow, provided such journeys are made outside the curfew hours of 10pm- 4am.

The federal government has also approved domestic flights’ resumption as soon as practicable.

However, it said given the rising wave of COVID-19 infections, churches, mosques, open bars, night clubs, spars and gyms would remain closed while the 10 pm to 4 am curfew was retained.

Speaking in Abuja yesterday during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Chairman of the task force, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the reopening of schools was meant to allow students in graduating classes to resume preparation for examinations.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), stated that the developments were contained in the task force’s fifth interim report, which was submitted to the President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “I am pleased to inform you that Mr. President has carefully considered the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and has accordingly approved that, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later, the phase II of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020, through midnight of Monday, 27 July 2020.

“Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect:

“Maintaining the current phase of the national response, for another four weeks in line with modifications to be expatiated by the national coordinator;

“Permission of movement across state borders only outside curfew hours with effect from 1st July 2020;

“Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by states, in particular, the use of face masks in public places;

“Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in person in preparation for examinations;

“Safe reopening of domestic aviation services as soon as practicable;

“Publication of revised guidelines around the three thematic areas of general movement, industry and labour; and community activities; provision of technical support for states to mobilise additional resources for the response.”

Also speaking at the briefing, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said all primary schools and daycare centres nationwide would remain closed until further notice.

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