By Tanko Mohammed
In compliance with relaxation of nationwide lockdown, Lagos State Government has issued guidelines for the reopening of markets and shopping malls, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, said on Saturday that the guidelines were necessary following Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s announcement on the gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos from Monday, May 4, 2020.
Ahmed said that all markets and stores in the various Local Governments/Local Council Development Areas across the metropolis would be allowed to open from 9am till 3pm on selected days.
He said that everyone attending these markets and stores would be mandated to observe precautionary measures such as physical distancing and high levels of personal and respiratory hygiene.
Ahmed said that malls would also be allowed to open with the proviso that stores will maintain a 60 per cent occupancy capacity at any point in time.
He added that there should be a two-meter physical distancing maintained between a shopper and the next person in the store.
The commissioner said that food handlers must also wear masks and hand gloves in markets at all times.
According to him, shop owners must provide hand sanitisers and wash hands with soap and running water at all entry points, conduct temperature checks on customers and ensure that nobody is exempted from the process.
”The guidelines are proactive measures put in place by the government to curtail a possible spread of the deadly virus among traders in markets places and malls when the gradual ease of the lockdown commences on Monday, May 4, 2020,” he said.
Ahmed said that effective from Monday, May 4, 2020, food sellers and other ware traders would operate on alternate days in all markets across the state.
”In essence, those trading in other items and wares apart from food will only be allowed to trade on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while all food and farm produce sellers will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays,” the commissioner said.
He said that there would be zero tolerance for all forms of street-trading, while urging market leaders to ensure that their members abide by all the stated guidelines.
Ahmed also called on the Chairmen of LGs/LCDAs, Office of Iyaloja-General and the State Enforcement Agencies to ensure strict compliance with the directives.