By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
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 COVID-19 pandemic.
Other businesses that were ordered to commence activities include hairdressing salons and barbing shops.
The State Government had ordered the closure of all hospitality industry and other business ventures 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 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.
Alabi explained that the decision to reopen those line of businesses was taken at the state executive council meeting presided over by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
The Deputy Governor who said 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 also informed them 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.
Alabi said this would guarantee proper record, monitoring and control of the activities in the hospitality industry in State.
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 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,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.