President Adama Barrow has imposed a strict nationwide lockdown closing all but essential businesses as the country deals with a full blown coronavirus crisis. 

Mosques, churches and schools are all closed and a strict 10pm to 5am curfew will be enforced by the security forces including the army. 

“In exercise of the powers vested in him by Section 34 (1) (a) and pursuant to Section 34 (2) of the 1997 Constitution, President Adama Barrow declares a State of Public Emergency effective midnight tonight and a curfew effective tomorrow, 6th August 2020 throughout The Gambia for a period of 21 days,” State House said in a statement on Wednesday night. 

“The Public Health (Dangerous Infectious Diseases) Protection Regulations, 2020 shall continue to operate side by side with these new accompanying Regulations:

“All houses of worship (mosques, churches, etc.,) shall remain closed. Mosques or churches shall be used solely for calls to prayers or religious announcements. All forms of gatherings at mosques and churches are prohibited.

“Night curfew is hereby imposed throughout the jurisdiction of The Gambia from 10pm to 5am daily. Only persons on official COVID-19 duties, ambulances and public officials on essential assignments are exempted from the curfew. 

“Anyone who violates the curfew commits an offence and is liable to a fine of Five Thousand Gambian Dalasi (D5,000).”

The statement added: “All educational institutions (Universities, Colleges, Schools, Madrassas, Daras, Majalis and Gamos) shall remain closed.  

“However, Grade 12 students are exempted only for the period of their WAEC/WASSCE exams from 17th August to the 7th September 2020. These schools shall open solely for the purpose of administering exit exams.”

“All non-food outlets in all markets throughout The Gambia shall remain closed. Exemptions are granted to banks and financial institutions, pharmacies, drug stores, supermarkets and mini markets, local corner shops and essential food traders. The markets shall be opened between 6am and 2pm daily.

“All markets and shopping areas in The Gambia shall be closed on Sundays for cleansing or necessary fumigation by Area and Municipal Councils.

“All land, sea and air borders of The Gambia remain closed. Entry and exit of persons into The Gambia is suspended except for diplomats, drivers of essential commodities and persons seeking urgent medical attention abroad.

“Only cargo and humanitarian flights bringing Gambians home, diplomats or humanitarian workers will be allowed subject to them seeking and obtaining prior approvals among other stringent conditions. 

“Any passenger destined for The Gambia shall be in possession of a valid certificate from points of departure indicating that he or she took a COVID-19 test with a negative result at least 72 hours before boarding. 

A person who breaches this Regulation on the border closures commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of Five Thousand Gambian Dalasi (D5,000);

“The Armed Forces may be deployed pursuant to Section 187(1)(b) of the Constitution of The Gambia to support the civil authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The president calls on the general public to remain vigilant and committed to the fight against the coronavirus.”

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