The Rivers State Government has announced the reopening of all markets in the state with effect from Tuesday, August 18, 2020.
The markets are to operate from 7:00am to 6:00pm daily.
Governor Nyesom Wike, who announced this in a state-wide broadcast on Monday, said that Rumukwurushe (Oil Mill) and Oginiba Slaughter markets remain closed.
He stated that as the markets reopen for business activities, they must operate in strict compliance with the established protocols on wearing of face masks, washing of hands and maintaining social distancing.
The governor said government lifted the ban placed on markets to increase the tempo of economic activities in the state.
He said, “Market managers must provide for hand washing and use of sanitizers for everyone at the entrance of every market, ensure wearing of face mask and maintaining social distancing.
“Any market that opens to the public and fails to comply strictly with these protocols shall be closed down. The market managers shall be prosecuted while the contravening shops shall be forfeited to the state government without notice.
“Similarly, churches can now hold services with 50 per cent of their hall capacity provided the leadership can enforce wearing of face masks and washing of hands at the entrance by worshippers.
“The ban on outdoor sports activities at the Port Harcourt Club, Golf Club and the Port Harcourt Polo Club is also lifted.
“Members of these clubs must also comply with the established COVID-19 protocols or risk another closure.
“In addition, all night clubs, cinemas, bars and in-service restaurants remain banned until further notice. The established restrictions on public burials and weddings are also still in force.
“All local government chairmen are hereby directed to ensure strict compliance with the protocols in their respective areas.
“We also call on the security agencies to support the state government to fight against the spread of this disease by enforcing the wearing of face mask in public places and maintenance of physical distancing throughout the state.
“Government has increased the state’s capacity for surveillance, contact tracing, testing and treatment of positive cases in line with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, oil and gas companies that provided PCR laboratories.
“We are also considering the request for approval and certification by some private laboratories to provide sample collection and testing services.”