Abia Government has approved the relaxation of the ongoing seven-day lockdown in the state in connection with the upcoming Easter celebrations.
Mr Chris Ezem, Secretary to the State Government disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Umuahia.
Ezem said the new directive would allow free movement of people only within the state beginning from 6:00am on April 10 to April 12 at 2:00 pm.
He said the initial directive of the seven-day extension of the lockdown would continue from 3: pm on April 12 to April 17.
He explained that the relaxation order did not include public gatherings such as burial ceremonies, weddings, meetings, clubbing as the initial order on these activities remained valid and subsisting.
According to him, residents will be allowed to worship at their various churches and mosques but must strictly observe the guidelines given by the state government.
Ezem said the guidelines included congregation not exceeding 50 persons per stream of worship and maintaining a social distance of 1.5 meters.
“All worshipers must wear face masks while churches and mosques must provide a minimum of four points for hand washing with running water and soap.
“Hand sanitizers must also be provided at different points for the use of intending worshipers.
“The State and Local Government Enforcement Teams and Security Operatives shall continue to move around to ensure strict compliance,’’ he said.
Ezem also said the state government would appreciate it if Abia residents used the period to pray for God’s intervention and mercy upon the state, the nation and the entire world.
The SSG also said the state borders would remain closed, adding that the security agencies were directed to continue to ensure strict compliance to government’s directives.
He said that public places like supermarkets and malls were allowed to operate in line with the rules, adding that the state would not hesitate to permanently shut down any business concerns that flouted these directives.
Ezem, therefore, urged residents to be vigilant and to comply with professional advice, safety tips as well as government directives to successfully fight against the COVID-19 pandemic (NAN)