Nigeria Government Re-imposes Nationwide Curfew

Federal government has restricted gatherings at worship centres and banned night clubs as parts of measures aimed at preventing the spread of devastating strains of COVID-19 into the country.

Nigeria Government Re-imposes Nationwide Curfew
President Buhari

Disturbed by the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government yesterday announced the reintroduction of all extant control measures aimed at mitigating the impact of the deadly scourge.

Accordingly, the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on COVID-19 reimposed nationwide curfew earlier put in place to control the spread of the virus.

It also limited gatherings, especially in enclosed spaces, to a maximum of 50 persons, urging state governments to inaugurate mobile courts to try offenders.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and chairman of the PSC, Mr Boss Mustapha, said the committee also considered several pre-emptive measures to be taken to mitigate the likely impact of the variants of concern, should they get imported into Nigeria.

He said the curfew would run from 12 midnight till 4 am daily.

Mohammed said, “Further to these recommendations and effective from 0001hours of Tuesday, May 11, 2021, this Phase IV of the phased restriction of movement shall come into effect.

“We shall maintain restrictions of mass gatherings outside work settings with a maximum number of 50 people in an enclosed space.

“Approved gatherings must be held with physical distancing measures and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in place.”

He stated that there would be enforcement of a mandatory requirement of a seven-day quarantine for all international passengers.

Mohammed added that there would be “enforced temperature checks and no mask, no entry policy in all public settings; workplace buildings, businesses and places of worship. Access to government and commercial premises should be denied to persons without face masks.

“The nationwide curfew will be imposed tonight at midnight and it will run through till 4 am. No formal restrictions on movement within the country even as citizens are encouraged to refrain from non-essential movements and comply with all non-pharmaceutical interventions and guidelines.

''People who are above 60 and or with co-morbidities are encouraged to stay at home. Only essential international travels are encouraged.”

According to him, hotels are to remain open while adhering to all non-pharmaceutical interventions, while schools are to deploy the use of antigen-based rapid tests as recommended in the guidelines by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

He added that indoor recreational facilities and gyms were to close until June 11 when the situation would be reviewed while non-contact outdoor sports such as gulf, Polo and tennis were not affected.

He added, “In terms of working arrangement, virtual meetings should be encouraged to take place as much as possible. We should avoid large meetings, decongest offices and ensure they are well ventilated.

“States have been asked to institute mobile courts to help enforce on the spot fines and close premises that violate these prohibitions.

“On communal services, markets and stores, they should ensure that there are spot checks of commercial premises and observed or mandatory non-pharmaceutical interventions. Facility owners and managers and store owners are to ensure that physical distancing is observed.

“All mass gatherings remain restricted to 50 persons except where explicit permission has been granted by the state governments. Hotels are to remain open, but they must observe or non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“Schools have already opened.  However, they should consider the use of approved antigen-based rapid diagnostics tests as recommended by the NCDC.

''All religious gatherings should be limited to less than 50% capacity to ensure physical distancing and use of face masks are mandatory.

“All recreational venues, gyms and indoor sports facilities are to close until June 11 when the situation will be reviewed. However, non-contact outdoor sports such as golf, polo and tennis are not affected by these.

“Gatherings in weddings, parties and meetings should also comply with 50 persons. Mass political gatherings, gatherings in the open, a large number of people are strictly to adhere this COVID-19 protocol.”

''Event centres, night clubs shall remain closed until further notice. Restaurants are to provide eat-in at 50% capacity and provide takeaways where available.”

Mustapha disclosed that the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government had fixed the cost of COVID-19 testing, whether PCR or otherwise, at $50 at all Points of Entry with effect from May 17, 2021.

This, he said, was to ease travel and trade among citizens of ECOWAS States travelling within the region.

As of Sunday, Africa had recorded  4,673,466 cases. South Africa with 1.59 million cases has the highest number of infections in the continent.

Nigeria has so far recorded 165,419 cases of the virus out of which 2,065 have died while 156,300 have been discharged.

India, whose cases have attracted global attention following shortage of oxygen and hospital spaces, has recorded 22,991,927 infections.