The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has issued new guidelines that will help guarantee the safety of residents and contain the spread of the virus as the state begins the second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown.
This was disclosed by the governor on Sunday May 18, 2020, during a press briefing on the next steps to be taken in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
In his speech, Sanwo-Olu said that the Lagos State Government was considering fully re-opening the economy just as it would embark on assessment of the readiness of businesses.
As part of the guidelines, Lagos will be rolling out a ‘register to open’ initiative, as part of the plans that will enable it assess the level of readiness of the players in the identified sectors for supervised operations.
The Governor said that officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA) would be visiting restaurants, companies, and religious houses to assess their levels of readiness.
He said, “We are at a level where we are reviewing the other arms of the economy. In the coming days, we will be starting what we call Register-to-Open, which means all players in the restaurant business, event centers, entertainment, malls, and cinemas will go through a form of re-registration and space management.”
“There is a regulation that will be introduced to supervise this move. We will be coming to their facilities to assess their level of readiness for a future opening. I don’t know when that opening will happen in the weeks ahead, but we want these businesses to begin to tune themselves to the reality of COVID-19 with respect to how their workspaces need to look like,” the governor said.
Going further, the governor said, “There is a regulation that will be introduced to supervise this move. We will be coming to their facilities to assess their level of readiness for a future opening. I don’t know when that opening will happen in the weeks ahead, but we want these businesses to begin to tune themselves to the reality of COVID-19 with respect to how their workspaces need to look like.”
The governor pointed out that this didn’t mean they should re-open the next day, or anytime without going through a process guiding the re-opening. He said that LASEPA and Safety Commission would be mandated to start the enumeration process. He, however, reiterated that it was not a license for full opening, as the state was not yet ready for that.
Sanwo-Olu said that government agencies would be visiting places of worship to evaluate their level of preparedness ahead of full reopening, while stressing that social distancing and hygiene would be major considerations for their re-opening.
The governor said that while reviewing how the phased unlocking would happen, if they saw a huge level of compliance, they could fully open up the state’s economy in 2 to 3 weeks, if not, it could take 1 or 2 months until they were sure that people were ready to conform to the guidelines.
He also directed that elderly people must be given priority to transact their businesses in banks and markets between 9 am and 10.30 am, after which younger customers should be allowed to transact.