Inside Museveni’s Address: Arcades, Salons opened, Churches remain closed

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President Museveni directed re-opening of Arcades, Salons; Schools, Churches remain closed: PPU Photo

President Museveni has further eased the partial lockdown on Uganda with a directive to have Shopping arcades and hair Salons in the country re-open for business starting tomorrow.

Museveni however maintained schools and places of worship in the country closed as government continues to engage on how they resume operations amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

In the address which is the 19th ever since the pandemic was declared in the country, Museveni said the decisions taken in easing the lockdown were based on advice and assessment of scientists.

He said, 230 arcades were apparently assessed in Kampala and out of 171 arcades inspected, 110 were found compliant to re-open, while the rest will remain closed until they fulfill the necessary requirements. The approved arcades will re-open starting tomorrow.

The operators in re-opened arcades will employ temperature guns, observe social distancing, install hand-washing facilities and no trading is allowed in corridors.

No traders will be allowed on steps leading inside arcades, roadsides or verandas. Shopkeepers must keep records of people who buy from their shops to facilitate easy tracking of buyers in case the shopkeeper becomes infected.

Sellers must also observe social distancing as well as buyers and everybody operating in arcades must wear a face mask. No air conditioning will be allowed in arcades.

The opened arcades must also have enough toilet facilities. Arcades with no adequate toilet facilities will be closed.

For hair salons, salons will resume business starting tomorrow provided the operators ensure mandatory wearing masks for every client and face shields for salon operators.

Temperature guns will also be employed at salons to check temperature of clients, no air conditioning, hand-washing etc. MOH will work out SOPs for salons.

Boda-boda’s will resume passenger operations but riders will wear masks as well as face shields or helmets with a glass shield. They will also have to record identities of all their passengers including telephone contacts, NIN number and names.

However, boda-boda operations will resume on 27th July 2020 but must stop operations at 6PM other than the current 5PM time limit on account of facilitating crime.

Night curfew has been adjusted from 7PM to now start from 9PM up to 5:30AM.

Churches however have been left closed as scientists discuss with religious leaders on how they can re-open.

The issue of re-opening schools is being studied because it requires a big decision before September as the final school term opens. He said there is an option of declaring a dead year, or allow some institutions to open.

He said in case a vaccine is found, the option of a dead year will be eliminated. Museveni said during the month of August, learners will concentrate on e-learning as the country wait for a substantial treatment for covid-19 or vaccine. Ugandan scientists are busy working on producing a vaccine for covid-19.

For private schools and institutions however, government is studying how it can support the owners and teachers trough Uganda Development Bank. He said government can engage banks to waive loans extended to private school owners and NSSF for a waiver on mandatory savings.

Museveni contributed 2BN to the SACCO’s for staff in private schools and institutions but also promised to engage the Micro Finance Support Center to extend low-interest loans to teachers.

Mobile markets remain closed as scientists study the situation.

Entebbe International Airport and International borders remain closed for passenger flights but open for cargo and emergency flights.

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