The Federal Government has announced travel restrictions on travellers from 13 foreign countries hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping the world.

This was announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, headed by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

The countries affected by the restriction are the United States, China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland.

All the affected countries have recorded at least 1000 cases of coronavirus within their borders.

The Federal Government has also suspended the issuance of visa on arrival to travellers from the affected countries. The government also advised all Nigerians to avoid travel to the affected countries.

The travel restrictions kick into effect on Friday, March 20, and will be reviewed after four weeks. All travelers returning from the affected countries prior to the restriction will be in supervised self-isolation, monitored by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Port Health Services.

The Federal Government's decision comes on the heels of pressure from the public to implement travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus [Twitter/@MansurIB007]
The Federal Government's decision comes on the heels of pressure from the public to implement travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus [Twitter/@MansurIB007]

Since coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December, over 200,000 people have been infected, and at least 8,000 killed around the world. More than 82,000 people have also recovered from the virus.

Nigeria currently has two confirmed cases of coronavirus which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Another person that previously tested positive last week later tested negative and was discharged days later. No deaths have been recorded in the country.

The two positive cases are of people who imported the virus - an Italian who arrived from Italy, and, more recently, a Nigerian woman from the United Kingdom.

African neighbours like South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Gabon, Burundi, and many others have all imposed travel restrictions.