The Gambia government has agreed to exempt journalists to do their media works during the 8 hours of the imposed curfew.

The exemption comes a day after President Adama Barrow imposed 21 days of nationwide curfew in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

 “The Gambia Press Union (GPU) is pleased to announce that the Government has agreed to exempt media workers from the curfew orders.

“Media practitioners MUST carry a valid press card either from the GPU or a bonafide news and information media outlet. Media houses are encouraged to put up stickers on the vehicles for identification purposes,” the umbrella body of Gambian journalists said in a statement.

The Union added: “We urge journalists to wear face masks and any other safety kit, as well as press jackets. Media workers are also advised to follow all the health regulations by the government and the WHO for their own safety and those of others at all times.

“Media exemptions from curfew orders are in line with standards of best practice. This is in view of the peculiar nature of the work of media workers who are required to stay up late to provide information, education and entertainment services to the public.

“Moreover, the media serves as the eyes and ears of the public with respect to the enforcement of the curfew orders. It must be noted that this is a temporary measure while the Union works with the state authorities in the coming days to work out the specific details of the media exemption.

“This message is approved by the Government spokesperson, in consultation with the Director of Health Services and Inspector General of Police. The GPU kindly wishes to call on the security operatives to cooperate with this arrangement.” 

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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