The Osun State Government on Wednesday ordered the reopening of hotels and other categories of relaxation centres across the state, after five months of lockdown, to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other businesses that were ordered to commence activities include hairdressing salons and barbershops.
This is the next phase of easing down the imposed lockdown in the state.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman state technical committee on COVID-19, Benedict Alabi, made the announcement after a meeting with the representatives of owners of hotels, bars, relaxation joints and others in the industry across the state, held at the governor’s office, Abere.
Recall 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 cases.
The Deputy Governor also added that there must be no night parties, as he warned that failure to comply by any operator in the industry would warrant immediate closure of such business premises with fines imposed before reopening.
He explained that the decision to reopen those line of businesses was taken at the state executive council meeting presided over by Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
According to him, the essence of the meeting with stakeholders in the industry was to formally and adequately communicate to them, the 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 August 28, 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 stressed that the Protocols that must be observed by the operators in the industry for the reopening of their businesses include the use of face masks by all the occupants of business premises at all times, adequate provision of handwashing equipment with running water and hand sanitizer that must be situated at the entrances.
Other guidelines are the social distancing of about 4 feet minimum to be maintained always and all social spaces to be operated at 50% capacity, while all the food handlers must put on comfortable breathing face masks at all times, adding that any customer without face mask must not be granted entry.
He said:” 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 to protect the lives of our people against Coronavirus, which is still ravaging the entire world.
“We really appreciate you for your cooperation and support in the last five months; we want to assure you that Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s administration will never relent in its effort to prioritize healthy 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 would be sanctioned accordingly”, Alabi asserted.
He added that the state government has been able to manage the global pandemic effectively with about less than 15 deaths recorded so far, against earlier predictions, attributing the feat to the total commitment and proactiveness of government and cooperation and support of the people of Osun.