In line with the updated guidelines issued last Monday by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the easing of lockdown, Lagos State Government has announced modified protocols for re-opening education institutions and essential services in the State. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, announced gradual re-opening of schools from August 3, directing students in transitional classes, who have mandatory public exams ahead of them, to resume for revision classes and their examination. The Governor said the schools’ re-opening must follow established public health guidelines and protocol in the State. The permission to re-open, he said, only applies to day-schools. Boarding activities are excluded. Sanwo-Olu spoke during the 16th briefing on the State’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response held at the State House in Marina. The Governor said only students in Senior Secondary School Three (SSS 3) and their counterparts in Technical Study Three (TEC 3) will be allowed to resumed on August 3. The dates for the revision classes and examination for pupils in Junior Secondary School Three (JSS 3) will be announced in due course, Sanwo-Olu said. Besides, the Governor said the Primary Six pupils will be graded by their already recorded Continuous Assessment (CA) to pass over to secondary schools. Sanwo-Olu said: “Students in transitional classes, who have mandatory public exams ahead of them, are now permitted to resume for revision classes and examination. All education establishments are to follow established public health guidelines and protocol for re-opening the schools for these categories of students. The commencement date for this opening will be on August 3, 2020, for SSS 3 and TEC 3 students only. Dates for JSS 3 schools’ re-opening for revision classes and examinations will be announced in due course. “The permission to opening will apply only to Day-Schooling; boarding activities are not permitted at this time. School Authorities are expected to spend the period between now and the day of re-opening to put in place infrastructure, protocols and essential items required to comply with all hygiene, safety and physical distancing requirements. “Our tertiary institutions are to continue their online academic activities which are at various advanced stages. For Primary Six, we are using Continuous Assessment to determine how they graduate into JSS 1. We are doing this to slow down risk factors and manage the situation in measure.” The Governor also directed that hairdressing salons that had been accredited by the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) could open strictly on appointment-only and with a maximum occupancy of 50 per cent of the total floor space at any given time. Sports facilities and recreational parks in residential estates, Sanwo-Olu said, would be permitted to operate with a maximum of 20 persons at any given time. However, places of worship, events centres, and social clubs will remain closed until further notice. The Governor directed civil servants from Grade Level 1 to 12 to continue working from home and improve themselves through dedicated online Learning Management Systems (LMS) portals. Sanwo-Olu said personal responsibility is now more important than ever, stressing that the Government would now be strict in enforcing use of face mask in public places. He said the enforcement agencies would start to arrest people found in public places without face masks. Defaulters, he said, will be prosecuted. He said: “At this phase in the evolution of the pandemic in our society, taking personal responsibility is now more important than ever, not only for self-protection, but also for protecting other people, including your loved ones. “Mask usage is mandatory in public places. We are asking offices and business and commercial premises to refuse entry to any persons not wearing masks, in line with the Presidential Task Force directive on ‘No mask, No service’. Enforcement agencies will from this week charge defaulters to court, as the period of grace is now over.” Sanwo-Olu also implored Lagosians to cultivate the habits of washing their hands regularly, as well as maintaining social distancing, especially in public places. Government, he said, will continue to do its best to protect citizens and promote the wellbeing of residents. He said the State Government had scaled up testing capacity by accrediting seven private laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests at reasonable cost. He added that testing and treatment in all State-owned health facilities remained free. Sanwo-Olu ordered LSSC to continue with the registration and issuance of free Safety clearance to all companies and social events centres in preparation for full re-opening.