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Akwa Ibom government gives guidelines for reopening hotels, tourist centres

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The Akwa Ibom State government has disclosed the nine-point COVID-19 guidelines for reopening hotels and tourism centres across the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Orman Esin, who stated this at a press conference in Uyo, yesterday, said the guidelines would help to ease the five-month lockdown in the state.

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Esin, who recounted the importance of hotels and tourism in the economy, warned that the government would not tolerate any hotelier violating the COVID-19 guidelines in the state.

He stated that it was important to reopen the state for economic activities as it recorded the least number of COVID-19 casualties.

“Let me, first of all, thank the state government for effective management of COVID-19 in the state. It is important for us to note the times we are living in where the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world. It is also the responsibility of the government to protect her citizens,” the commissioner said.

He listed the guidelines to include hand-washing, fumigation of hotel premises with recommended chemicals, physical distancing, provision of isolation rooms in hotels, checking of body temperature, and training of members of staff on the handling of COVID-19 related issues, among others.

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“We are not using these guidelines to generate revenue but any hotelier or tourist business operator who violates these guidelines will not be tolerated,” he said.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ini Ememobong, who was represented by Director of Information in the ministry, Mr. James Edet, commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for providing the laboratory for COVID-19 testing in the state as certified by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) during an inspection in the state.

He charged the ministry to enlighten the people, including rural dwellers, on how to manage the pandemic as hotels reopen for business in the state.

However, Chairman, Akwa Ibom Hotel Management and Tourism Board, Mr. Ini Akpabio, urged hoteliers to adhere strictly to the guidelines, saying: “It is our duty to ensure that hospitality business is carried out in the state according to World Health Organisation (WHO) standard best practices.”

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