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The Federal Government has announced travel restrictions from 13 high risk countries including UK, US, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, South Korea and five others. No African country made the new list.
Business Hilights recalls that the ban is coming barely five days after US placed similar restrictions on 26 countries.
Aside the latest travel ban, government also stopped the policy of Visa on arrival pending further notice.
The latest bans were announced by the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha in a World Press Conference in Abuja.
Mustapha statement announcing the restrictions read as follows;
“ Federal Government is temporarily suspending the issuance of all visas on arrival”
He disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria is restricting entry into the country for travellers from the following thirteen (13) countries; China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland. These are all countries with over 1,000 case domestically;
“You will recall that yesterday Tuesday 17‘h March, 2020 the Presidential Task Force on COVlD-19 set up by Mr. President was inaugurated and held its first briefing.
The PTF hard earlier at the end of its first meeting announced the ban on all forms of travels by public officers and civil servants until further notice,
“This morning, we have found it necessary to brief Nigerians on further measures being taken after an assessment of the global situation. They are as follows:
“The Federal Government is also counseling all Nigerians to cancel or postpone all non-essential travels to these countries; and
“Federal Government urges Public Health Authorities of countries with high burden to conduct diligent departure screening of passengers and also endorses this travel advisories to their nationals to postpone travels to Nigeria.
“These restrictions will come into effect from Saturday, 21st March, 2020 for four (4) weeks subject to review.
The SGF had at the end of the first meeting of the group last night announced travel ban for all public officers
“ After due considerations of the trend and spread of the novel diseases, COVID-19 and the subsequent declarations of the diseases as Pandemic by the World Health Organisation WHO, the committee has committee has subsequently urge that We upscale our emergency response system to the highest level and put in measures to stop further spread of the Disease.
Nigeria has recorded three cases with two testing positive and one negative so far
Mustapha said “ we will want to make sure that it does not go beyond this minor figures for now”
“ So, on the part of government, we have decided to advice that it has become necessary for public officers in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, including the parastatals that government has banned all forms of travels out of the country for whatever reasons whether for meetings, including bilateral, multilateral, conferences, seminars, workshops, consultations, negotiations and any form of other ceremonies”
The SGF was emphatic that these bans will remain in force until further notice, until the situation of the pandemic nature of the disease abates.
“ By this notice, any prior approvals to travel abroad during this period is accordingly rescinded”