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Edinburgh arts festival cancelled due to coronavirus

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Edinburgh’s international festivals were cancelled for the first time in 70 years on Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said.

Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said the decision to cancel The Fringe, International Festival, Jazz and Blues Festival, Book Festival and Military Tattoo was “heartbreaking.”

However, having taken advice and considered all the options, we collectively believe this is the only appropriate response,” she added.

The festivals, a platform for both professional and amateur performers, are estimated to be worth around £300 million ($371 million, 340 million euros) to the local economy.

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They comprise more than 5,000 events in Scotland’s capital every August, featuring some 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries, and audiences of 4.4 million.

The International Festival, which sees musicians, actors and dancers perform at venues in the city, began in 1947 as a way to reconcile people and nations through art after World War II.

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The Tattoo, which started in 1950, brings together military performers in a concert outside Edinburgh Castle.

McCarthy said the performing arts had “an important role to play in providing a prism through which to process and understand the multiple traumas of this pandemic”.

Fergus Linehan, director of Edinburgh International Festival, said the coronavirus crisis made next year’s events even more important.

“We recognise that Edinburgh’s festivals play a very important role in the cultural, social and economic lives of our city and country, and this decision has not been taken lightly,” he added.

“Our thoughts are with all the country’s key workers and we hope that we can celebrate your heroic efforts when this awful pandemic has passed.

“Work begins straightaway on a 2021 Festival season that will boost both our spirits and our economy.”

The festival’s organisers will refund all participant registration fees and tickets for the events

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COVID-19: FG bans street trading, hawking

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), had approved the relaxation of restriction placed on churches and mosques starting from Tuesday.

The Chairman of the task force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who disclosed this at the PTF press briefing in Abuja, said the reopening of churches and mosques would be based on guidelines issued by the task force and protocols agreed on by states.

But the Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, noted that while markets would be opened and artisans could run their business, street hawking was prohibited.

He said,

In terms of general movements, persons may go out for work, go out to buy necessary foods and for exercise, provided they abide by the curfew hours. Movement between local government areas is strongly discouraged unless for critical reasons such as health care and work.

“I will like to emphasise that it is still safer to stay at home and avoid crowds. The pandemic is not over in this country and the relaxation of some of the rules does not mean that it is safer to go out. If you do not need to go out, please continue to stay at home.

“Hawking and street trading is also prohibited and we will be looking into this in greater detail with state authorities.”

“With interstate travels, movement across state boundaries remains restricted other than the free movement of goods and essential travels. Security services are requested to please cooperate with members of the public and ensure that goods are provided with free passage, as this particular phase is directed at ensuring the economy starts moving again.

“With intrastate travel, we will implement new travel processes for areas of the country with high-burden local government areas, and this will be restricted to essential travels.”

The task force coordinator listed the new guidelines for reopening of offices in the public and private sectors.

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He said,

“For the industry and labour sectors, in terms of working hours, normal working hours will apply to offices other than government offices, provided this is kept within (outside) the curfew hours of 10pm to 4am. Offices are to maintain working at 75 per cent capacity while maintaining the two-metre physical distancing.

“For government offices, they can open between the hours of 9am and 2pm. So, no changes in opening hours but can work from Monday to Friday. Prior to this, we allowed three working days. However, all persons within the Grade Levels of 14 and above at both the federal and state governments will be allowed to come to work.”

 

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JUST IN: Nigeria records 416 new cases, total now 10, 578

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This is after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced 416 new cases of coronavirus in the country.

The NCDC made the announcement on Monday, adding that no fewer than 299 patients have died of coronavirus-related complications in the country.

416 new cases of #COVID19;

Lagos-192
Edo-41
Rivers-33
Kaduna-30
Kwara-23
Nasarawa-18
Borno-17
FCT-14
Oyo-10
Katsina-7
Abia-5
Delta-5
Adamawa-4
Kano-4
Imo-3
Ondo-3
Benue-2
Bauchi-2
Ogun-2
Niger-1

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10578 cases of #COVID19Nigeria
Discharged: 3122
Deaths: 299

Details later…

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JUST IN: FG reviews nationwide curfew

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Motorists spend the night at Osborne Road in Ikoyi for violating curfew order

The Federal Government has reviewed the curfew dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this during a briefing in Abuja on Monday.

He said the PTF has reviewed the 8 pm-6 am curfew earlier announced by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) during his address on April 27.

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Aliyu said the curfew would now be between 10 pm and 4 am daily.

He said:

“Effective from Tuesday, June 2, the easing of the lockdown will be characterised by the following:

“The nationwide curfew will remain in place but the timing will be reduced to 10pm to 4am.

“Just to clarify, the purpose of the curfew is to limit social interaction and therefore reduce the spread of the virus.

“Persons that are on essential duty including but not limited to those involved in the provision of health services, media services and critical infrastructure are exempted.”

The national coordinator stressed that the goal of the review is to allow the full restoration of the Nigerian economy.

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