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The Federal Government has given approval for the resumption of interstate travels for the second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 made this known in Abuja.
Giving insight, he explained that interstate movement will only be allowed outside the nationwide curfew from 10 pm to 4 am.
According to him: “Interstate travel, that is, movement across state borders will be allowed only outside curfew times effective from 1st of July 2020, to allow the industry to prepare over the next 24 hours.
“In particular, we expect the transport industry to adhere to the Federal Ministry of Transportation safety protocols and guidelines that will be released specifically in relation to parks and terminals. There will be restricted access with disinfection and sanitization.
“Waiting areas for passengers must have social distancing measures. There has to be posters and notices on the conduct of persons. If you’re not wearing a mask, you will not be allowed entry into the parks and terminals.
“We also expect transporters to arrange for crowd control, and buses should have a maximum of 50 percent capacity. For bus trips, we strongly urge for windows to be kept open particularly for short trips, and face mask is mandatory.
“States government through their Commissioners of Transport shall undertake an inspection of facilities and confirm compliance as a precondition to resumption of interstate travel. Non-compliance with the guidelines will result in the withdrawal of permission to operate interstate mass transit. The PTF expects this to be enforced at the state level.
“For Interstate travel, we will maintain the occupancy level of bosses to be 50 percent and two passengers for taxis, but we will restrict movement in high burdened local government areas to essential travel only. This will be part of the hot spot strategy that will be introduced.
“We are requesting for full compliance by the general public. We have to get this right this time around. we really need to stop playing Russian roll with our lives because if we continue to expose ourselves to COVID-19, there is no doubt that people will die.
“We seek to consolidate the gains in the areas of the economy while trying to ensure better compliance with the health-based response.”