The federal government has lifted the nationwide curfew from 12 midnight to 4 a.m it had imposed in 2019, which was meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The lifting of the restriction was announced yesterday by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC). The PSC said the decision to review the country’s COVID-19 response was occasioned by the declining number of cases, reduced risk of importation of new variants as well as the availability of vaccines and increasing number of people vaccinated in Nigeria and globally.
The guidelines stated that there would no longer be formal restrictions on movement within the country, adding that the advisory limiting Nigerians to essential travels only has also been lifted.
It urged all vendors and service providers to abide by stated stipulations from the Federal Ministry of Transportation while urging all passengers and commuters to wear face masks once on board, as well as continue to observe personal precautionary measures.
It, however, advised members of the public to, given the risks, refrain from non-essential movement and comply with non-pharmaceutical interventions guidelines such as the mandatory use of facemask/facial coverings in public.
The PSC also announced the removal of limitation on air travels – both domestic and international flights; saying travellers must abide by all existing protocols including the use of face mask while on board and taking personal precaution measures.
In addition, the PSC said the limitation on number of persons and 50 per cent limit on persons attending religious gathering had been lifted, even as it advised the continued use of face masks in all indoor religious gathering, while asking congregants to take personal responsibility and take appropriate personal safety protection measures.
The federal government also announced the removal of limitation on number of staff reporting to work, stating that all workers are now free to resume in all offices for normal work.
It asked all Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives to ensure that all staff are fully vaccinated and ensure the use of face masks and safety protocols within the office premises.
The new guidelines also stated there would no longer be limit on the number of persons gathering in open spaces including sports stadiums and arenas, open congregation and rallies.
It said all bars, night clubs, pubs and event centres are only allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity while capacity limitation on hotels, restaurants and gyms has been lifted.
All hospitality and entertainment facilities, however, are to ensure use of face masks as well as safety precautions in their premises.
The PSC also said the limitation on number of persons attending informal and formal festivity events including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, seminars, end of year events has been lifted while ban on concerts, carnivals and street parties is also lifted.
The PSC on COVID-19 advised that all political activities involving large gatherings to strictly adhere to COVID-19 guidelines issued by INEC.
It asked organisers to ensure use of face masks, mandatory temperature checks and use of sanitisers at events, saying political parties are to be responsible for compliance to safety measures.
The PSC said each state government was responsible for monitoring the risk of transmission and spread of COVID-19 in their states as well as monitoring compliance to safety protocols.
It encouraged all eligible citizens to take COVID-19 vaccinations. It also recommended the vaccine mandate for only fully vaccinated persons to access government premises or show PCR test of not more than 48 hours to all states.