Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, on April 27 announced that the country would begin to ease lockdown measures put in place to stop the spread of Coronavirus from May 4.

The restrictions, which commenced late in March, grinding almost all activities to a halt except for some essential services like food, medicine and other consumables allowed to operate.

Nigeria now has 1728 confirmed cases of the virus.

SaharaReporters brings you responses to all your frequently asked questions about the easing of the lockdown and how it would affect you. 

Q: As an essential worker, does the 6:00am to 8:00pm curfew apply to me?

No. Essential workers such as healthcare workers and security agents according to President Muhammadu Buhari are permitted to move around during the stipulated curfew hours. The curfew applies only to non-essential services.

Q: Chijoke operates an inter-state transport business, can he bring passengers from Onitsha to Lagos from May 4?

All non-essential inter-state passenger travels are banned until further notice. This means no one is permitted to go from one state to the other for the foreseeable future.

Q: How about Gyang who drives a food laden truck from Jos, Plateau State? Can he supply his customers in all states of the federation?

Yes. There will be a partial and controlled inter-state movement of goods and services to allow products get from producers to consumers during the lockdown. This is however, tightly controlled and truck owners found sneaking people into states will be prosecuted according to President Buhari.

Q: Can I go to church now and can my neighbour go to the mosque?

No. The restrictions on social and religious gatherings shall remain in place. There shall be no congregational worship of any kind until further notice.

Q: I want to go to the market, can I use commercial motorcycles from May 4 in Lagos?

Commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okadas, are to suspend their operations in Lagos State except for those used for courier and logistics purposes until further notice.

Q: I will be commuting a lot once the lockdown is relaxed in Lagos on May 4, are there special guidelines I must follow?

All commuters are mandated to wear face masks at all times, sanitise with alcohol-based solutions or wash their hands with soap under running water before and after every trip, according to Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.  See Also (Full Speech) Buhari Extends Lockdown In Lagos, Ogun, FCT Until May 4, Curfew To Begin After Then PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE: President Buhari Extends Lockdown In Lagos, Ogun, FCT By One Week, Curfew To Begin After Then

Q: Can my employer force me to work in an environment without social distancing, face masks or hand sanitizers?

Under the new directive, employers must provide face masks, thermometers and consideration must be given to persons living with disabilities while making all the arrangements.

If your employer is forcing you to work without Personal Protective Equipment or in an environment with no social distancing, please reach out to law enforcement agencies in the state and area where you live.

Q: Do I have to return to work if our state is under stay-at-home order and our business is non-essential?

No, the easing of the lockdown is targeted at Lagos, Ogun and the FCT alone. Please comply with the regulations as stipulated by your state government.

Q: My brother Demola owns a nightclub in Lagos, is he allowed to re-open?

All entertainment centres such as cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, day clubs, nightclubs and beaches will remain closed till further notice in Lagos.

Q: Can my shops in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja be opened from 6:00am until 8:00pm from May 4?

Yes, however, it is advised that you wrap up operations hours in advance to give room for you and your staff to make it home before the curfew commences.

Q: My children are eager to meet their friends again, will schools re-open from May 4 In Lagos, Ogun and the FCT?

Unfortunately, schools remain closed nationwide until further notice. Virtual and e-learning are encouraged by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Q: I employ 150 people, how many are supposed to resume back to work from May 4?

Only 20 people are permitted to gather in one place at a time. Even then, strict social distancing must be practiced.

Q: I have missed eating at my favourite restaurant, can I eat out from May 4?

According to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, all restaurants nationwide will not open to the public but will be allowed to engage in home delivery and pick up options.

Q: I urgently need to resolve some banking issues, how long will banks be opened for in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT from May 4?

Banks will be allowed to open but there will be a restriction in the opening hours to between 8:00am to 2:00pm. All customers must be socially distant, wearing a mask and provided hand sanitiser by the bank.

Q: I want to ensure that I get home before the curfew starts at 8:00pm on May 4, do commercial transport workers have an operating time?

Commercial transport workers in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT during the easing of the lockdown will operate daily from 6:00am to 6:00pm. Social distancing must be maintained in taxis and buses while tricycle must carry only two passengers per time.

 

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