Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Nigerian authorities resume commercial flights with some restrictive measures in place as of Sept. 15. Confirm travel arrangements.

Alert Begins 15 Sep 2020 12:18 PM UTC
Alert Expires 29 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

International and domestic commercial flights have resumed in Nigeria as of Sept. 15 after being suspended to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government had initially planned to restart scheduled international flights Aug. 29, but services resumed early September. All but essential flights had been suspended since late March due to the pandemic.

As Nigeria resumes scheduled international air travel, flights will only be operating through Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (ABV) in Abuja. Currently, travelers arriving in Nigeria must present proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 taken up to 96 hours prior to arrival; all new arrivals must self-quarantine for at least seven days in the city of their arrival regardless of negative test status. Travelers must also register on the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control travel portal and must make efforts to register for a follow-up test once in the country. Evidence of this registration is required on entry. Travelers can leave isolation once a negative follow-up test has been completed. Travelers who fail to take the follow-up test face a temporary travel ban.

The decision to resume international flights follows statements by Nigerian civil aviation officials indicating that the government in Abuja planned to impose a reciprocal ban on commercial flights from countries that do not accept flights from Nigeria or where Nigerians face entry restrictions. Affected carriers reportedly include Air France, KLM Royal Dutch, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, and TAAG Angola. All domestic airports have been cleared to reopen.

Nigeria will remain at Phase 2 of the nation's COVID-19 recovery plan through at least mid-September, with all related restrictions remaining in place. Authorities eased restrictions on domestic flights in early July. Interstate travel resumed throughout the country July 1. Some academic activities have also been allowed to restart.

Restrictions that remain in effect include:


  • Sea and land borders are closed until further notice. The measure does not apply to freight transport.


  • A 2400-0400 nationwide curfew is in place until further notice.


  • Residents are required to wear protective face coverings while in public.


  • Restrictions on large public gatherings remain in place.


  • Bars, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms, and parks will remain closed until further notice.


Several states have also enacted strict state-level restrictions. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Reconfirm travel plans. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Consider delaying traveling to Nigeria until officials lift restrictions. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers. Reconfirm all flights before departure.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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