COVID-19: Large political gatherings must adhere to protocol – FG 

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Federal Government has warned that all political activities involving large gatherings are to strictly adhere to COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a statement on Wednesday, the Chairman of the committee and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, organizers are to ensure use of face masks (mandatory for indoor meetings, while recommended for outdoor); Mandatory Temperature checks and use of sanitizers at events; Political parties to be responsible for compliance to safety measures; and Voting procedures must comply with the stipulated COVID-19 safety protocol by INEC.

The PSC chairman also announced that the nationwide curfew from 12 midnight to 4 a.m and limitations on gatherings along with other restrictions imposed in 2019  to curb the spread of coronavirus, have been eased.

He explained that the decision followed reduced risk of importation of new variants, as well as the increasing number of people vaccinated in Nigeria and globally.

FG also asked civil servants to go back to their offices with proof of vaccination or a “PCR test of not more than 48hrs”.

Private companies were asked to continue implementing measures to limit the spread of the virus at work.

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The limitation on the number of persons and 50 per cent limit on persons attending religious gatherings was also lifted but attendees must use face masks.

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“Use of face mask to be mandatory for indoor activities but at individual’s discretion during outdoor activities.

“Those aged 60 and above or with co-morbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are advised to uphold the use of universal precaution which includes the use of face mask, avoid crowd and frequent use of hand sanitisers,” he added.

According to him, no limitation on air travels – both domestic and international flights; but both international and domestic travellers must abide by existing protocols, including the use of face mask while onboard and taking personal precaution measures.

He stated that all arriving international passengers must register with the Nigeria International Travel Portal (https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) and abide by the travel guidelines.

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