The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said government officials will be visiting churches, mosques, companies to evaluate their preparedness to fully reopen.
According to him, social distancing and hygiene will be prerequisites to reopening religious places of worship in the state. Sanwo-Olu stated these at a briefing on Sunday after the State Security Council meeting at the Lagos House, Marina.
He noted that with the size of the state’s economy and numbers of businesses operating in its domain, the government could not afford to keep people and businesses on lockdown permanently. The governor said in the coming days, officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency would be assessing the readiness of the players in identified sectors for supervised operations.
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 centres, 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 work spaces need to look like.
“For us, it is not to say they should re-open fully tomorrow or any time; there has been a process guiding the re-opening. “We will be mandating LASEPA and safety commission to begin the enumeration process and the agencies will be communicating with all relevant businesses and houses in the days ahead. I must, however, caution that this should not be misinterpreted as a licence for full opening; it is certainly not. The state’s economy is not ready for that now.”
Sanwo-Olu said the government agencies would also be visiting places of worship ahead of full reopening. He stressed that social distancing and hygiene would be fully considered in determining whether mosques and churches could re-open. “We are reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen. If we see huge level of compliance, then it can happen in the next two to three weeks. If not, it could take a month or two months. It is until we are sure all these players are ready to conform to our guidelines,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu urged businesses, religious houses and residents to maintain the status quo, while the state worked out modalities for full re-opening. He also disclosed that all the 10 members of staff of the Government House who tested positive for the coronavirus had fully recovered and returned to their beats.