Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Nigeria update travel restrictions to curb spread of COVID-19 April 14. Further restrictions likely.

This alert affects Nigeria

This alert began 15 Apr 2020 11:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 27 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Authorities in Nigeria have enacted measures in March and April to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities extended a lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for a further 14 days from 2359 April 13. Residents are required to stay at home and are only allowed out to perform essential duties, such as obtain medical assistance or food. Nonessential businesses will also close as part of lockdown orders. Food stores will be open 1000-1600. Similar restrictions have been undertaken across Nigeria's other states by local governors, with restrictions on interstate travel imposed. Stay-at-home orders are also in place in numerous states. Other measures in place across Nigeria include:

  • The suspension of commercial and private passenger flights. Essential and humanitarian flights are exempt.
  • The temporary suspension of migrant and passport registration through April 23.
  • A ban on public gatherings of more than 25 people.
  • The closure of all land borders to passenger traffic for four weeks effective March 23. This measure is likely to be extended in the coming days. Nigeria had banned the importation of goods through its land borders in 2019, so cargo transport is unlikely to be affected by the measure.


The state-level lockdown measures limit nonessential travel, with night curfews in effect in many states. Security forces have deployed to guarantee adherence to stay-at-home orders. Nonessential businesses have also been closed until further notice. Further travel restrictions and social distancing measures are likely if the number of infected persons in Nigeria increases.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
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.

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.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control: https://ncdc.gov.ng

COVID-19 Regulations: https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng