Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act signed the COVID-19 Regulations 2020, giving legal backing to the directives outlines in his broadcast. These regulations, effective March 30, 2020, include directives restricting movement in FCT, Lagos and Ogun State, as well as a delineation of essential and non-essential services.
As the numbers of those infected as well as Covid-related deaths rise, and the potential of strict remote work options loom, here are the regulations that businesses should be mindful of:
- Rule 1(1): All citizens in the red zone are mandated to remain at home. Travel to and from other states is postponed. And all businesses within these locations are to remain fully closed during this period
- Rule 1(5): Hospitals and all related establishments as well as organisations in health care related manufacturing and distribution are exempt from closure
- Rule 1(6): Commercial establishments such as a) food processing, distribution and retail companies; b) petroleum distribution and retail entities; c) power generation, transmission and distribution companies, and d) private security companies are exempt from closure
- Rule 1(7): Court matters that are essential or time-bound according to extant laws are also exempted in line with the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s circular of 23rd March 2020
- Rule 1(8): Financial systems and money markets are to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations to ensure Nigerians are still able to perform online transactions and use ATMS whilst observing these restrictions in Rule 1(1)
- Rule 1(10): Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media who can prove that they are unable to work from home are also exempted.
- Rule 2(1): All seaports in Lagos remain operational.