Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Gambia Government Relaxes Some Covid-19 Restrictions

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Dated Thursday, 4th June 2020 Banjul, The Gambia

His Excellency President Adama Barrow in consultation with his Special Cabinet Sub-Committee on the Covid-19 pandemic and based on advice by the Health Experts’ Committee of The Ministry of Health has decided to relax some of the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency Restrictions.

For now though, the relaxed restrictions are confined only to markets, houses of worship, and Grade-9 students about to sit their exams and transition to Senior Secondary Schools.

Therefore, effective immediately, all Gambian markets shall now open from 6:00am—6:00pm daily regardless of what commodities are sold. However, all market vendors, traders, buyers and sellers are strictly urged to continue to observe all the social distancing restrictions imposed by The Health Emergency Proclamation.

Beginning Friday 5th June, 2020, all mosques shall reopen while still strictly adhering to Government’s outlined physical distancing and related health measures.

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Likewise, all churches shall reopen on Sunday 7th June, 2020 while also strictly adhering to physical distancing and related health measures.

Equally, all Grade-9 students will benefit from the relaxation of these restrictions to be formally announced by the Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education at a later date.

Meanwhile, The Gambia Government working with health experts will continue to monitor, review and evaluate the Covid-19 situation as it evolves and make a determination on other key areas like public and commercial transportation, lumos, schools and madrasas in due course. All other restrictions affecting border closure, the airport, restaurants, casinos, bars, nightclubs and social gatherings remain the same.

In a related development, it has come to the notice of The Gambia Government that some bandits masquerading as activists are now indulged in impersonating government officials, publishing false press statements and memoranda on Social Media purporting to be representing Government.

These utterly criminal acts are nothing short of malicious propaganda calculated to undermine the Government’s genuine efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, The Gambia Government warns all those involved in this nefarious practice to desist immediately or face the full consequence of their illegal actions.

Signed:

Ebrima G Sankareh

The Gambia Government Spokesperson

Below are The Gambia Government’s latest guidelines

MARKETS AND SHOPS 

Recommendations for Markets 

  1. The markets should all observe social distancing
  2. All in the markets should wear masks at all times
  3. Market vendors must apply hand sanitizers or wash their hands before and after dealing with customers
  4. All customers must wash their hands or apply sanitizers before being allowed in markets

Recommendations for Shops 

1)      All shops should observe social distancing and limit the number of their customers to only two (2) persons at a time

2)      Provide hand-washing facilities at points of entry with hand sanitizers 

MOSQUES AND CHURCHES 

Recommendations for Mosques 

  1. All persons entering mosques must first sanitize their hands
  2. Prayers may be done outside or in well ventilated mosques
  3. Everyone must come with his or her personal prayer mat
  4. Physical distancing must be observed within the mosque
  5. All entrants must wear a facemask throughout their stay in mosques
  6. Fomites and instruments used in the mosque should be frequently disinfected
  7. Sharing of cups or kettles in the mosques is strictly prohibited
  8. Temperature screening before entering mosques is highly recommended
  9. Anyone with symptoms or signs must be isolated in a designated area
  10. There should be an established committee for the enforcement of the mitigation intervention in every mosque
  11. There should be a nominated focal person who liaises with health authorities
  12. The focal person can also liaise with security forces for anyone who refuses to follow the regulations
  13. Ablution should be performed at home before going to the mosque.
  14. Worshippers to arrive at mosques well before prayer time
  15. Call toll free No.1025 immediately for further screening of suspected individuals
  16. Quick dispersals once congregational prayers are concluded 

Recommendations for Churches 

  1. All persons entering churches must first sanitize their hands
  2. Prayers may be done outside or in well ventilated churches
  3. Physical distancing is observed within churches with fixed seats
  4. Seats must be disinfected before worshippers enter churches
  5. All worshippers must wear facemasks throughout their stay in churches
  6. Frequent disinfection of fomites and instruments used in churches
  7. Sharing of cups or utensils in churches is strictly prohibited
  8. Temperature screening before entering churches is highly recommended
  9. Anyone with symptoms or signs must be isolated in a designated area
  10. Call toll free No.1025 immediately for further screening of suspected individuals
  11. There should be an established committee for the enforcement of the mitigation intervention in every church
  12. There should be a nominated focal person who liaises with health authorities
  13. The focal person can also liaise with security forces for anyone who refuses to follow the regulations
  14. Quick dispersals once Congregational Masses conclude

SCHOOLS

Recommendations for School (Grade 9 students) 

  1. Provide hand-washing facilities and hand sanitizers at points of entry and ensure all students wash their hands before entering school premises
  2. Provide adequate face masks to teachers and students, and should be worn while in class
  3. Observe and practice social distancing in classrooms with one metre between students and utilize sufficient classroom spaces
  4. Provision of thermometres for screening of temperature of the students, teachers and support staff
  5. All students, teachers, and support staff will be subject to COVID-19 random testing
  6. Classrooms should be well ventilated
  7. Examinations should be held in well ventilated halls or outside-

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