COVID-19: FG opens borders to diplomats, returning Nigerians from banned countries

The Federal Government has said diplomats, returning Nigerians and foreigners resident in Nigeria are allowed into the country from nations placed under restrictions.

The Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus stated this on Thursday night while making clarifications on categories of people affected by the travel restrictions imposed on 13 countries.

The task force stated this in a reaction to frequently asked questions, made available by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on measures to combat the  Covid-19 pandemic.

The inter-ministerial committee said, “Following the announcement of travel restriction measures taken by the Federal Government to contain and manage the spread of COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the presidential task force has, as part of the continuing engagement with members of the public, found it necessary to provide answers to the following frequently asked questions.”

Explaining what it meant by restricted entry, it said, “It means you will not be allowed into the country if you live in or have visited these countries in the last 15 days.”

On whether it applied to a Nigerian returning home, it said, “No, you will be allowed in but subject to supervised self-isolation for  14 days after arrival.”

On how it affects diplomats, the task force said, “No, you will be allowed into Nigeria but subject to supervised self-isolation for 14 days after arrival.”

The committee said the restriction did not affect those resident in Nigeria but holding foreign passports.

“No, you will be allowed into Nigeria but subject to supervised self- isolation for 14 days after arrival,” it reiterated.

On those transiting through one of the 13 countries to get into Nigeria, it said, “Yes, if you have been to any of the countries mentioned, you will not be allowed into Nigeria, except you are a returning Nigerian, resident or diplomat.”

The taskforce reiterated that the ban would come into effect from Saturday, urging the public to furnish or seek clarification through the COVID-PTF/NCDC  24/7 help line No: 0800970000-10.

Nigeria had, on Wednesday, placed travel restrictions on entry into the county from 13 countries with high-burden of coronavirus.

The countries are China, Iran, South Korea, Germany, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, France, and Japan.

The country also announced temporary suspension of visa-on-arrival policy.

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