COVID-19: FG bans inter-state travel, says face mask mandatory

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday announced a ban on non-essential inter-state travels until further notice as Nigeria grapples to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The president, who made the announcement in a broadcast in Abuja, also announced the imposition of curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“This means all movements will be prohibited during this period except for essential services,’’ Buhari said.

He stated, however, that partial and controlled inter-state movement of goods and services would be allowed as well as movement of goods and services from producers to consumers.

The president disclosed that the Federal Government would adopt an aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact-tracing for prospective carriers of the virus.

“We will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene.

“Furthermore, the restrictions on social and religious gatherings shall remain in place.

State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

“The presidential task force shall provide sector-specific details to allow for preparations by governments, businesses and institutions.

“In respect to the above guidelines, state governors may choose to adapt and expand, based on their unique circumstances, provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above.

“To support our businesses and traders, the monetary and fiscal authorities shall deploy all necessary provisions needed for production to continue and for jobs to be restored,’’ the president said.