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FG lifts COVID-19 restrictions, cites declining infection rate

The Federal Government has eased some of the protocols introduced to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

This, it said, was necessitated by the declining number of cases, reduced risk of importation of new variants and the increasing number of vaccinated Nigerians.

In the implementation guideline by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 dated April 2, 2022, and made available to journalists on Wednesday, the committee lifted the nationwide curfew earlier imposed from 12 midnight to 4am.

The committee also said limiting Nigerians to essential travels had been lifted, adding that given the risks, citizens were encouraged to refrain from non-essential movement and comply with non-pharmaceutical intervention guidelines that included the mandatory use of face masks in public.

On the use of face masks, the PSC said it was still mandatory for indoor activities, but at individual’s discretion during outdoor activities.

The committee added that the limitation on air travels, both domestic and international flights, had been lifted.

“Both international and domestic travellers must abide by all existing protocols, including the use of face masks, while on board and taking personal precautionary measures. All arriving international passengers must register with the Nigeria International Travel Portal and abide by the travel guidelines,” the PSC stated.

The committee approved the resumption of normal work activities for private and public workers, advising that measures that would reduce congestion in office spaces, such as virtual meetings, work- from- home or on-and-off days be introduced.

While lifting the 50 per cent attendance on worship centres, the PSC said face masks must continue to be used in all indoor religious gatherings, and congregants must take appropriate personal safety protection measures.

The committee stated, “All recreational venues, gyms and indoor sports facilities are allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity.

“All political activities involving large gatherings are to strictly adhere to COVID-19 guidelines issued by INEC;

“Organisers must ensure the use of face masks (mandatory for indoor meetings, while recommended for outdoor); Temperature checks and use of sanitizers at events are mandatory; Political parties must be responsible for compliance to safety measures; Voting procedures must comply with the stipulated COVID-19 safety protocol by INEC.”

“Ban on concerts, carnivals and street parties, as well as the  limitation on the number of persons attending informal and formal festive events, including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, seminars, and end of the year events have been lifted.”

The committee, however, said the state governments were responsible for monitoring the risk of transmission and spread of COVID-19 in their states, as well as monitoring compliance to safety protocols, stressing that it would, in collaboration with security agencies, monitor and enforce compliance where necessary under the Health Protection Regulations

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