COVID-19: Nigeria lifts pandemic restrictions

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The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has reviewed some of the measures instituted as part of the country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to the committee, the review became necessary due to the declining number of cases in the country, reduced risk of importation of new variants, as well as the availability of vaccines and the increasing number of people vaccinated in Nigeria and globally.

It was also stated that some of the social restriction recommendations were revised in line with the three established thematic areas – movement, industry and labour, as well as community activities.

Under the new guideline, there are no more formal restrictions on movement within the country as the nationwide curfew imposed from 12 midnight to 4am has been lifted.

The advisory limiting Nigerians to essential travels only has been lifted, although citizens need to refrain from non-essential movement and comply with non-pharmaceutical interventions guidelines such as the mandatory use of facemask/facial coverings in public, given the risks involved.

The statement read in part:

“States should continue to consider them as the minimum guidelines required to ensure an acceptable level of epidemic control nationwide.

“Use of face mask to be mandatory for indoor activities but at individual’s discretion during outdoor activities; those aged 60 and above or with co-morbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are advised to uphold the use of universal precaution which includes the use of face mask, avoid crowd, and frequent use of hand sanitisers.

“No limitation on air travels – both domestic and international flights; both international and domestic travellers must abide by all existing protocols, including the use of face mask while onboard and taking personal precaution measures; and all arriving international passengers must register with the Nigeria International Travel Portal (https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) and abide by the travel guidelines.

“No limitations on inter or intra-state travel; all vendors and service providers must abide by stated stipulations from the Federal Ministry of Transportation; all passengers and commuters must wear face masks once on board, as well as continue to observe personal precautionary measures.”

Feranmi Okuku