The PPP/C Government has given the green light for mining operations in Regions Seven, Eight, and Nine, to resume under strict accordance with the measures specified for these regions. This was gazetted in the new COVID-19 guidelines on Saturday.
All mining operations in the hinterland regions had been halted by the previous APUN/AFC coalition Administration, as part of their COVID-19 response, causing major implications on the livelihood of residents in the regions, which are mainly known for their mining activities.
The new Government has stated that modifications have been made to ensure the health, safety and economic wellbeing of the population, something the previous Government failed to do.
The Official Gazette stated, “mining operations are permitted, and in addition to the measures under this Notice, mining operators shall comply with any recommendation of the Ministry of Health.”
Further, from August 16 to 31, 2020, persons in Regions Seven, Eight and Nine are subjected to a 6 pm-6 am curfew and are expected to practice all the necessary COVID-19 protocols such as hand hygiene, social distancing, wearing masks and regular sanitisation.
There will also be increased security presence at landings, and gatherings in the regions are limited to five persons; who must remain six feet apart in keeping with the social distancing protocol.
However, travel in and out of these regions (Seven, Eight and Nine) will not be allowed without the authorisation of the Minister of Health, Hon Dr Frank Anthony.