Governor Nyesom Wike has issued some new social distancing guidelines for the relaxed lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of Rivers State.
Under the new guidelines, in-service restaurants and barber’s shops will not reopen after the relaxation of the total lockdown.
Governor Wike announced the relaxation of the lockdown of the two LGAs for six days, beginning from Thursday, May 21.
Governor Wike said: “We reinstated the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas as part of our measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in our State.
“We also indicated our readiness to review the lockdown from time to time as occasion demands with the interest of our people as the central basis.
“Although we are only three days into the ongoinglockdown, it has become necessary, once again, to relax the restrictions.
“Accordingly, the State’s Security Council has decided to suspend the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas for 6 (six) days, with effect from Thursday, 21st May 2020.
“Residents and visitors of these local government areas can therefore go out of their homes for their lawful businesses from tomorrow morning, that is, Thursday May 21 until 8.00 p.m, Tuesday 26th of May 2020, when the lockdown will be restored and maintained until further notice.
“It is important to emphasized that the relaxation only allows for free human and vehicular movements and the opening of limited businesses, such as banks, supermarkets, shopping malls and grocery shops.
“All land, sea and air exit and entry borders and routes into Rivers State shall remain closed.
“Similarly, all open markets, motor parks, hotels, bars, night clubs, in-service restaurants and barbers’ shops must remain shut.
“Religious gatherings of more than 50 persons remain prohibited.
“All public weddings, burials and other social gathering also remain prohibited.
“Private and commercial vehicles, including tricycles must continue to limit the number of passengers to two persons only.
“The wearing of face masks or coverings in public spaces, including commercial and private vehicles remains compulsory as contraveners would be arrested and summarily dealt with as the law demands.
“All residents must continue to maintain a social distancing in every space, including a vehicles, bank premises and shopping places as required by the subsisting regulations.
“Those who refuse to comply with these duly established orders and restrictions will be arrested and prosecuted, as usual, for deliberately endangering themselves and the lives of others in the face of this deadly virus.
“I wish to reassure you all that we are doing our best and determined more than ever to do everything in our powers to fight against the spread of this COVID-19 pandemic in Rivers State.
“We therefore urge residents not to panic even withthe increasing number of positive cases, which is only indicative of the expanded testing now taking place inthe State.
“Before long, we will flatten the curve, gradually lift the restrictions, restore normalcy and open up the State fully for business.
“But until then, we will continue to ask for your patience, cooperation and religious compliance with the established measures to curb the spread of this virus.
“The time is immediate for each and every one of us to take personal responsibility in this struggle to kickout COVID-19 out of Rivers State.
“And so, for those, who have nothing to do outside their homes, please stay at home and stay safe. Let us also try to ensure that we keep and protect the most vulnerable persons among us, especially the aged and those with serious underlying health conditions from this virus.
“Finally, let me once again express our appreciation to all those who are in the frontlines supporting the effort of the State Government in several ways to mitigate the spread of this virus in our State.
May God continue to reward and keep you safe.”