Nigeria lifts COVID-19 restrictions on party, gatherings, curfew

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Nigeria has removed the limit on attendance for social gatherings and the curfew on midnight movements it announced two years ago to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 set up by the government in early 2020 announced a review of the country’s response to the pandemic in a statement.

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

PSC said the social restriction recommendations were revised in line with the three established thematic areas – movement, industry and labour, as well as community activities.

The government explained that the decision followed the reduced risk of importation of new variants and the availability of vaccines and the increasing number of people vaccinated in Nigeria and globally.

It stated that the safety protocols provide a baseline from which state governments could further build to strengthen their responses based on their local circumstances.

The PSC, however, advised states to “continue to consider them as the minimum guidelines required to ensure an acceptable level of epidemic control nationwide.”

It added that 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 face mask or facial coverings in public, given the risks involved.

The government noted that the 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.”

Patients of the underlying ailments “are advised to uphold the use of universal precaution which includes the use of face mask, avoid crowd, and frequent use of hand sanitisers.”

Also, the PSC said there are “no limitation on air travels – both domestic and international flights; both international and domestiec 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.”

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