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Sanwo-Olu is Open to Reopening the Economy, but there are Conditions



Restaurants, malls, event centres, churches and mosques could see business reopen in the coming weeks, Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said. But there are conditions.

Punch reports that the governor stated these conditions at a briefing on Sunday, after the State Security Council meeting at the Lagos House, Marina.

The state will be starting something called “Register-to-open” he explained:

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.

Sanwo-Olu shared that physical distancing and hygiene practices will be huge factors in determining if these businesses can reopen. He 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 work spaces need to look like.

He reiterated, over and over, that this does not mean that the economy will open in a blink. It’ll take time, he explained, as public health remains a priority, even as the state cannot afford a complete lockdown.

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.

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.

You can check out other updates on the coronavirus and how the world’s beating it here.

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