Regarding this uncomfortable situation, the General Director of the NCAA, Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, stated that the country will for sure open international flights on September 5th to provide enough time to adjust the protocols and guidelines in relation to COVID-19 testing, and their own online platform.
In addition to this whole thing, it has been brought to the public’s attention that the number of flights could still be low since European commercial international flights where Nigeria has connections continue to be suspended.
Despite all of this, the announced protocols still haven’t been published as of September 3rd. Meanwhile, hundreds of stranded Nigerians are reportedly sleeping in public parks abroad while waiting for a solution that would allow them to safely return home.
Uncertain Situation – Curfews and coronavirus rate growth
Covid-19 – General situation
With almost 192 million inhabitants divided among more than 500 ethnic groups, Nigeria has reported 1,023 COVID-19 related fatalities and 54,247 positive cases so far. Considering the large population number, it may seem the pandemic has not heavily hit the country. However, according to the statistics presented by the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a small, but permanently growing -and worrying- increase in both positive cases and deaths. From the end of March to the beginning of September the dreaded curve has not stopped growing and it is uncertain when it will reach its peak.
The general situation in Nigeria remains uncertain. There is still a nation-wide curfew from 10 pm to 4 am. Locals are now slowly returning to work, but they still need to observe restricted schedules. As for foreigners already in the country, they should make sure to be thoroughly informed on the local curfews and restrictions.
Before the novel coronavirus struck, Nigeria was developing tourism policies and programs to encourage foreign visitors to discover its spotless beaches, majestic mountains, unique forests, immaculate lakes, aiming at making Nigeria the “Ultimate Tourism Destination in Africa”. All of that effort seems to be on hold for now.
Nowadays, official sources do not report any updated news regarding the country’s reopening to international tourism. If you are a tourist already in the country we would advise you to proceed with caution and to keep yourself updated if your purpose is to visit Nigeria’s tourist areas. There may be delays, restrictions and difficulties with travelling, safety protocols, and permits.
How COVID situation looks like in Nigeria?
According to Nigeria Center for Disease and Control latest report, in the last 24 hours, 239 cases from 15 different states have been confirmed positive being Plateau (116), FCT (33), Lagos (19), Ekiti (12), Kaduna (11), Ogun (11) the most affected ones. The deaths reported in the last 24 hours happened in two states FCT (9) and Delta (1).
During the event, he also mentioned the reactivation plan would include the rehabilitation of perimeter areas and key equipment to ensure air operations.
We are confident Nigerian authorities will catch up with the reopening biosafety protocols and guidelines over the coming days or weeks. Meanwhile, if you are a stranded tourist in the country we advise you to regularly check local and international official sources to make sure you are in a safe area and also to be updated in the latest policies that may be relevant for you.
It is also important to be on the lookout for the well known COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, if you feel one or more of these, we strongly recommend you to observe self-isolation by staying indoors and contact Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) 24/7 toll-free line on 080097000010 or WhatsApp: 07087110839.