EC and NIA can now operate from June 15th
President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has said consultations with major stakeholders, coupled with the strategic initiatives undertaken so far by the government were among the major reasons for the easing of restrictions on a phased approach.
Delivering his 10th Address to the Nation today, Sunday 31st May he said the government has decided to embark on a “strategic, controlled, progressive, safe easing of restrictions to get our lives back”.
He said he appreciated the impact of the measures his government took to defeat the virus have had on the lives of every Ghanaian adding, however, that “we cannot live with these restrictions forever, and that it is imperative we find a safe way to return our lives to normality, as other nations across the globe are trying to do.”
President Akufo-Addo added that “ours is going to be a phased approach involving a selected list of public gatherings, based on their risk profile, socio-economic impact, and, most importantly, our capacity to enforce and to respond, in the event of a flair up in our number of infections”.
As a first step, from Friday June 5th, the President announced that an abridged format for religious services can commence with a maximum number of one hundred (100) congregants, who can worship at a time in church or at the mosque. Such worshipers must enforce a mandatory one metre rule of social distancing between congregants. Churches and Mosques however, will have to have just 1 hour of worship.
From Monday June 15, the President said Schools and universities will be allowed to re-open schools to allow for final year junior high, senior high and university students to resume classes ahead of the conduct of their respective exit examinations.
“Indeed, final year university students are to report to their universities on 15th June; final year senior high school (SHS 3) students, together with SHS 2 Gold Track students, on 22nd June; and final year junior high school (JHS 3) students on 29th June”, the President said.
JHS 3 classes will comprise a maximum of thirty (30) students; SHS classes a maximum of twenty-five (25) students; and University lectures will take place with half the class sizes.
All final year students of educational and training institutions, which are being managed by Ministries other than the Education Ministry, are expected to return to school on 15th June to complete their exit examinations.
However, the President noted that all other educational facilities, private and public, for non-final year students, will remain closed.
EC, NIA, Restaurants, Non-Contact Sports
President Akufo-Addo also announced a phased opening of restaurants, providing seated services, under appropriate social distancing arrangements and hygiene protocols.
Also individual, non-contact sports can go ahead. Conferences, workshops, weddings, and political activities, except rallies, can now take place, but with limited numbers not exceeding one hundred (100) persons present, with the appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols.
He added that market places, work places, public transport, and constitutional and statutory bodies such as the Electoral Commission, the National Commission for Civic Education and the National Identification Authority, whose activities were exempted from the outset from these restrictions, must conduct their activities in accordance with social distancing and the necessary hygiene and safety protocols.
“I have, by Executive Instrument, provided for these new directions, and extended the suspension of the remaining public gatherings, as set out in E.I. 64 of 15th March, until 31st July, the President reiterated”, President Akufo-Addo stated.