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COVID-19: Lagos eases lockdown on event centres

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LAGOS State Government has directed that event centres in the hospitality and tourism industry can now re-open for business only if they have met the necessary requirements of its newly introduced Register-to-Open initiative.

  Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf disclosed this during a live Instagram session tagged “Ensuring Effective Health Safety and Environment Management System in Hospitality Industry- Post COVID-19”, which was hosted by the founder, Pholard Events, Shade Kolade- Ogunpitan,

Mrs Akinbile-Yusuf, who was the guest speaker, at the forum explained that event centres are free to re-open for business provided they have been given the nod to do so while adding that event planners are also expected to partner event owners and ensure that the venues have met the requirements.

Responding to speculations relating to whether the number of persons allowed would exceed 20 persons, Akinbile-Yusuf, explained that at-most one-fifth of the capacity of the centre should house not more than 500 persons.

‘This depends on the size of the event hall, if it is going to one-fifth of the normal occupancy level of each venue, then that is fine but no matter how big the event hall, it cannot occupy more than 500 people at a time, that is what the guideline says. This is not about 20 individuals in a building now, what we are saying is that one can have at-most one-fifth of the capacity of the hall. If you have a large event hall that can accommodate as many as 5,000, the maximum one cannot exceed is more than 500 at a time,’ she said.

According to her, ‘we have global guidelines that deal with both social and religious centres but we have specific ones for certain categories.’

The commissioner further dismissed the assertions of double taxation on the hotel owners, explaining that the position of the state government was in the interest of the practitioners and safety of the citizens.

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