Lagos reopens cinemas, gyms, recreational centres, others

L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo during a COVID-19 update press briefing at Lagos House, Marina, on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
L-R: Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Folashade Jaji; Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo; Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo; Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) and Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm (Mrs) Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, during a COVID-19 update press briefing at Lagos House, Marina, on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

Lagos has approved reopening of cinemas, gyms, spas and recreational centres in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced this during a briefing on Saturday.

Cinemas and other recreational centres were closed in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sanwo-Olu, however, noted that cinemas must keep strictly to 33% of their capacities.

“They must get the necessary certification from the Lagos State Safety Commission, “Governor Sanwo-Olu added.

However, bars, nite clubs, spars, event centres and such others remain closed until October when the government will make pronouncement concerning their opening.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the green light on Saturday at a press briefing on the 18th update on covid-19 which took place at the Lagos House, Marina, Lagos.

The governor said cinemas and gyms are to operate at 33 per cent capacity which is one third of their capacity.

For cinemas and gyms, Sanwo-Olu said: “If they have gotten safety protocol clearance, from tomorrow, Sunday, they can resume.

“Their resumption is only at 33 per cent of their capacity, meaning its only one-third capacity that you have at the various cinemas, you must leave two seats invented,” Sanwo-Olu said, adding it is the agreement with the operators.

Christians have also been given clearance to hold weekly services while Muslims can also commence with their five times prayers, but they must comply with safety protocols.

Sequel to the collapse of Excel College, Ejigbo on Saturday, the said directives have been given to the minute of physical planning and urban development to conduct structural integrity test on all school buildings in the state above three floors from next week.

With the redemption of international flights, the governor said, all incoming passengers must self isolate for seven days after which which they will do the necessary test.

“We are constantly expanding testing capacity to cope with the impending increase in the number of tests, especially following the re-opening of the International Airport.

“Our status as home of the busiest International Airport in Nigeria comes with added responsibilities to ensure that the pandemic situation in Lagos State is not complicated by additional cases of imported infections.

“All incoming travelers to Lagos State must be certified by testing to be COVID-19-free before and after arrival in the State. We encourage outbound travelers to also do a Covid-19 test 72 hours before departure to avoid inconveniences at their respective destinations.

“Following the opening of Nigeria’s International airspace, the Lagos State Government has been working closely with the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Port Health Authority to monitor all flights arriving and departing Lagos State”.

Adding that since the commencement of the flights coming into the country on the 5th of September till date, Lagos has recorded a total of 50 flights – a daily average of 6 flights – carrying a total of almost 8,000 passengers. “Despite this inbound volume of passengers, our positivity rate still remains on the downward trend at under 5%.”

The governor reinterated that only JS3 and SS2 in public schools are to resume on Monday while all classes in private schools can resume though they are advised to adopt the same stagered resumption in public schools. He however said all pre-primary classes are not resuming yet.

“We must not forget that the Coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritize the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society. All of these resumption guidelines and protocols must be strictly adhered to by the various stakeholders.

As at Friday, the 18th of September 2020, the governor said, Lagos State had conducted close to 100,000 tests; and recorded a total of 18,854 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number,15,598 have recovered in community, 592 are currently active in community, and 207 deaths have sadly occurred.

“It is however interesting to note that we have also recorded a dramatic decline in the number of Covid-19 related deaths at our facilities.”

Sanwo-Olu advised citizens not to let down their guide against the pandemic, urging them to act responsibly by maintaining the required levels of hygiene.

“The Lagos State Government, like the Federal Government, is committed to continuing the maintenance of a fine balance between the safety of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods. We will continue to make adjustments as required, but the gradual resumption of social, educational and economic activity must never be taken as an excuse to let down our guard against the pandemic,” Sanwo-Olu said.

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