By Olajide Idowu
Osogbo, Aug. 19, 2020 Osun Government on Wednesday ordered the reopening of hotels, and other categories of relaxation centres across the state.
This is coming after five months of lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Other businesses that were ordered to commence activities included, hairdressing salons and barbing shops.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the hospitality industry in the state, and other business ventures had remained closed since March, after confirming an index case and subsequent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Mr Benedict Alabi, Deputy Governor and the Chairman of the state Technical Committee on COVID -19, announced the decision as the next phase of easing down the imposed lockdown in the state.
Alabi announced this at a meeting with the representatives and owners of hotels, bars, relaxation joints and others in the industry across the state, held at the governor’s office, Abere.
He explained that the decision to reopen those line of businesses was taken at the state executive council meeting, presided over by Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola.
According to him, the essence of the meeting with stakeholders in the industry is to formally and adequately communicate to them, necessary protocols required to prevent further spread of the dreaded disease after reopening.
Alabi also announced that there would be free online registration for all the operators in the industry as from 28th August, while the enforcement would begin from the first day of September.
The deputy governor said this would guarantee proper record, monitoring and control of the activities in the hospitality industry in Osun.
He listed the protocols that must be observed by the operators in the industry for the reopening of their businesses to include: the use of face masks by all the occupants of business premises at all times, adequate provision of hand washing equipment with running water and hand sanitiser that must be situated at the entrances.
Other guidelines are: social distancing of about 4 feet minimum to be maintained always and all social spaces to be operated at 50 per cent capacity, while all the food handlers must put on comfortable breathing face masks at all times,
He added that any customer without face masks must not be granted entry.
The deputy governor also explained that there must be no night party.
He warned that failure to comply with directives by any operator in the industry would warrant immediate closure of such business premises with fines imposed before reopening.
“The decision to close down your businesses as at that time was very regrettable, but in the best interest of everyone, we took the decision then in order to protect the lives of our people against Coronavirus, which is still ravaging the entire world.
” We really appreciate your cooperation and support in the last five months; we want to assure you that Gov. Oyetola’s administration will never relent in its effort to prioritise heathy living and the well being of the people of Osun.
” This meeting was to communicate to you, the protocols that you must always observe for reopening of your businesses for the safety of everyone against this disease.
” Let us follow these protocols and anyone who violates these rules will be sanctioned accordingly,” Alabi warned.