Nigeria orders civil servants to show COVID-19 vaccination or negative test from Dec 1

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria distributes COVID-19 vaccines
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the National hospital in Abuja, Nigeria, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

October 13, 2021

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria will require civil servants to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test for the disease to gain access to their offices from the beginning of December, a presidential committee said on Wednesday.

The presidential committee said unvaccinated government workers will need to present a negative test result done within 72-hours before they are granted access to their offices across the country and its embassies abroad.

“An appropriate service wide advisory/circular will be issued to guide the process,” Boss Mustapha, chairman of the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, said in a statement.

Nigeria has administered some five million vaccine doses to its 200 million citizens, and is in the midst of deploying millions more doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca shots received through the COVAX vaccine scheme for developing countries.

It also has 1.12 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that it purchased through an African Union programme and is scheduled to receive 7.7 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine via COVAX.

Nigeria, which has not tested widely for COVID-19, has so far recorded 208,153 confirmed infections and 2,756 deaths from the virus.

In May, Nigeria banned travellers coming from some countries where COVID-19 was spreading rapidly.

The presidential committee said it had decided to remove South Africa, Turkey and Brazil from its restricted travel list following a review of developments in those countries.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah; writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Philippa Fletcher)