Sierra Leone government lifts inter-district restrictions

Following calls by businesses to ease constraints, the Government of Sierra Leone has lifted the inter-district ban that was initiated as a measure to curtail the spread of COVID-19. 

Speaking at a press conference at State House in Freetown on Tuesday 23 June, President Maada Bio said that the inter-district measures continue to be important to curtail the spread of the virus, but acknowledged that they have presented difficulties for Sierra Leoneans. 

The ban has therefore been lifted starting Wednesday 24 June 2020, with the curfew now in place from 11 pm to 6 am, effective immediately. 

President Bio also noted that while certain countries have started opening up their airspace, Sierra Leone will resume commercial flights once proper measures have been put in place. He stated: “The border intersectoral body will soon finalise rational effective and affordable free arrival and departure protocols that are consonant with best practices elsewhere and WHO guidelines.” 

The President went on to explain that he had initiated discussions with other heads of states of the Mano River Union with the aim of harmonising approaches and common measures for the reopening and monitoring of land borders. “Once we have finalised those discussions, we will open all land borders and crossing points,” he added. 

President Bio also explained that the government has expanded its testing, contact tracing and surveillance to an unprecedented level, and will monitor data and take further action if necessary.  

For more information, read the full speech here

The opinions expressed in this news article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of UK aid and the programme partners.

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