President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked churches, mosques and other places of worship to re-open starting from Friday. However, they are to ensure that not more than 100 congregants are gathered at a time, with service duration not exceeding one hour. All worship centres can now take up to 25 per cent of their capacities at a time, and must ensure social distancing of at least one metres.
Other businesses such as restaurants have also been asked to start operating, but must ensure strict social distancing protocols.
Statutory state institutions such as the Electoral Commission (EC), the National Identification Authority (NIA), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), among others, have also been directed to observe strict safety protocols in carrying out their mandates.
These were contained in the President’s 10th address to the nation on the measures to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Restrictions on political activities have also been lifted, but rallies are still not allowed. Parties carrying out any activity must ensure strict safety protocols, with not more than 100 people in attendance.
The ban on conferences has also been lifted, while final year students have been asked to go back to school to study for their final exams. Other students must, however, remain at home.
Notwithstanding the easing of the restrictions, the ban on funerals still remains in force, but the earlier number of 25 people who were allowed to attend private burials has now been increased to 100.
President Akufo-Addo in March placed a travel ban on countries that had recorded at least 200 confirmed cases of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).
Apart from the travel restrictions, he further placed a ban on all public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church activities and other related events, all as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
He, however, allowed for private burials for the dead, restricting the number of mourners at such burials to 25.
The President also directed all schools to shut down until further notice.
The President later imposed, “pursuant to the powers granted the President of the Republic, under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), restrictions on movement of persons in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA, which includes Awutu Senya East), and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and contiguous districts, for a period of two (2) weeks”. The two-week lockdown was extended for another one week before it was lifted.
The restrictions, according to the President, were to “give us the opportunity to try to halt the spread of the virus, and scale-up effectively contact tracing of persons who have come into contact with infected persons, test them for the virus, and, if necessary, quarantine and isolate them for treatment, should they prove to have the virus.”