The Lagos State Government has made it mandatory for prospective couples to obtain clearance from the state government to hold weddings with 300 people in attendance.
This was contained in a notice by the state government on Friday, titled, ‘Stay At Home’.
“Weddings and social gatherings must not exceed 300 people with prior clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission,” the notice partly read.
The Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, confirmed the development in an interview with The PUNCH on Saturday morning.
He said the state government is concerned about large gatherings and big weddings as the state experiences a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Mojola told our correspondent that the clearance is free and prospective couples will have to go on the Commission’s website to input the details of their weddings, adding that safety marshals will be deployed to such events to enforce all Covid protocols to prevent any possible spread of the virus.
The director-general said, “If it is not a big wedding, maybe 50 people, 100 people, we are not really concerned. But if it is a large gathering with 300 people and above, it is mandatory that you get a clearance. It is a free clearance; no payment whatsoever.
“The process is not difficult, you go online and input the details of the wedding. There might be a requirement to have safety marshals on ground, depending on the size of the wedding.
“The move is to put in place some control measures to prevent super-spreader weddings and hold people accountable. It also helps us in planning. For instance, if we are envisaging 500 guests at a wedding, there will be more attention on them. We will do our regular patrols and visit such places to ensure that they comply with safety protocols.”
“We will also forward those locations to our brothers in LASTMA (Lagos State Traffic Management Authority) and LAMATA (Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority) to be on the lookout that there is a big wedding and many cars will be coming into a neighbourhood so as to aid efficient traffic management,” Mojola further told The PUNCH.
Earlier, the Commission said security agents have been mandated to ensure full enforcement at weddings and other social gatherings, adding that no one would be deemed to be above the law.
“Any and all breaches of these regulations and public health protocols will lead to immediate closure (of event centres) as well as attract heavy fines, and any other sanctions and penalties deemed fit, in line with the Lagos State Infectious Diseases Control Regulation 2020,” it had stated.
Lagos, which is one of the epicentres of coronavirus management in Nigeria, has recorded over 26,000 infections and more than 200 associated deaths since the outbreak of the virus in the country.
The state government recently returned Covid-19 protocols at religious centres and also banned a number of social places from holding gatherings as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic.