Five months after it ordered shutdown of operations to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the Osun State Government has ordered the reopening of hotels, and other categories of relaxation centres across the state.
Other businesses that were ordered to commence activities include hairdressing salons and barbing shops.
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 and Chairman state technical committee on Covid-19, Mr Benedict Alabi, 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 of 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 Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
According to him, the essence of the meeting with stakeholders in the industry was 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.
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 hand washing equipment with running water and hand sanitizer 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% 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.
The Deputy Governor also added that there must be no night party, 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 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 in order 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 Adegboyega Oyetola’s administration will never relent in it’s effort to prioritize 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 would be sanctioned accordingly”, Alabi asserted .
He therefore 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.
Present at the meeting were the commissioner for health, Dr Rafiu Wusamotu, Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Dr Babatunde Olawale, Special Adviser to the Governor on public health, Dr Olasiji Olamiju, and his counterpart on security Mrs Abiodun Ige.