Nigerian Cities Come Back To Life As Lockdown Restrictions Eased

As some virus lockdown restrictions were eased in a number of Nigeria’s key urban areas on Monday, crowds of people were seen in the streets and outdoor markets of Lagos, the main commercial city.

A food seller at one market, Roselyn Okhani, said she had been home since the start of the lockdown, and Monday was the first time she was able to go out again.

“They announced that we can come out today, that is why we are out,” she said, adjusting her face mask.

The lockdown, imposed on 30 March in Lagos, Ogun state and the capital Abuja, forced many businesses to close as people were required to stay at home, except for essential journeys.

Markets were only allowed to open for a limited amount of hours.

Nigeria relaxed lockdown restrictions on key urban areas following a presidential recommendation on a gradual reopening of the economy, allowing some activities to restart between 9am and 3pm, with a curfew taking effect from 8pm to 6am daily. Police in Lagos arrested people seen breaking this curfew late on Monday.

The government says this is a first phase of lockdown easing, and the situation will be reassessed after two weeks.

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