Banjul, Gambia(PANA) - The Gambian government Thursday exempted media workers from the curfew hours imposed nationwide from 10 pm to 5 am to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an official source said here.
The Gambia Press Union (GPU) which intervened on behalf of media workers in the country, said in a statement the government had agreed to exempt them from the curfew orders.
“Media practitioners must carry a valid press card either from the GPU or a bona fide news and information media outlet. Media houses are encouraged to put up stickers on their vehicles for identification purposes.
“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,” the GPU said.
It also said the media exemptions from the curfew orders were in line with standards of best practice, adding that this was in view of the peculiar nature of the work of media workers who were 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 statement said.
The GPU called on the security operatives to cooperate with the arrangement.
-0- PANA MSS/RA Aug2020