Important COVID-19 travel guidance
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
From 4am on 18 January, if you intend to travel to England, Scotland, or Wales, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival. All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.
If you are legally permitted to travel, check our advice for the country you are visiting. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning. Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. Also check if you need to self-isolate.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all travel to:
- Borno State
- Yobe State
- Adamawa State
- Gombe State
- riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States
- within 20km of the border with Niger in Zamfara State
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- Bauchi State
- Zamfara State
- Kano State
- Kaduna State
- within 20km of the state border with Kaduna and Zamfara states in Niger State, west of the Kaduna River
- Jigawa State
- Katsina State
- Kogi State
- within 20km of the border with Niger in Sokoto and Kebbi States
- non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers State
- Abia State
- the remainder of Nigeria based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks
Travel to Nigeria is subject to entry restrictions
- All new arrivals to the country are expected to self-isolate at one location for at least 7 days.
- Anyone that has developed Coronavirus symptoms during their travel may be required to undergo quarantine at a government-monitored treatment centre.
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK, you will need to:
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Nigeria, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
The Nigerian High Commission have announced the suspension of all Immigration Services from 22 December until further notice. Please continue to monitor their website for further announcements.
On 15 December 2020 the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that mobile SIMs must be linked to the Nigerian Identification Number (NIN) of the SIM user. This applies to all residents including foreign nationals. The NCC has extended the deadline for this registration exercise: until 19 January, for those subscribers who already have a NIN; and until 9 February, for those without NINs. You are advised to seek guidance on compliance from your network operator.
From Monday 28 December 2020 additional arrival procedures will be in place for passengers whose journey starts from the UK or South Africa. Passengers must present their pre-departure permit to fly and a QR code confirming they have booked a test for the seventh day after arrival in Nigeria. They must also provide evidence of a negative COVID PCR result from a test taken within the 96 hours prior to boarding. On arrival these passengers will be processed by the public health authorities separately to those from other destinations.
During October 2020, there were a number of large-scale protests (known as #EndSARS protests) in Abuja, Lagos and other locations across Nigeria. Protests can occur spontaneously and unpredictably. You should avoid demonstrations, pay attention to media and social media reports on protest locations and minimise movements.
There is a daily nationwide night-time curfew between 12 am and 4 am. Some local authorities have imposed other restrictions, including local curfews which may be announced at short notice. You should monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities, and continue to exercise caution.
The al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jamaat al Ansar al Muslimeen fi Bilad al Sudan, better known as Ansaru, claims to have killed at least 6 people, kidnapped dozens, and destroyed several vehicles during an ambush along the Kaduna-Zaira highway in Kaduna State in mid-January. If you decide to travel to Kaduna State, you should avoid regular patterns of travel or movement, and aim to only travel during daylight hours. See Terrorism
Since January 2018, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has protested regularly in central Abuja and other cities. These protests, particularly in Abuja, have the potential to turn violent. See Local travel
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks occur in the north east, particularly in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) have previously shown intent and capability to conduct kidnaps in Nigeria. Foreign nationals, including humanitarian workers, are likely to be considered valid targets for kidnap. Humanitarian hubs and Humanitarian workers have been targeted during attacks in the north east, including Monguno, Borno State on 13 June 2020. There have also been significant attacks in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi States and in the Federal capital, Abuja. Further attacks are likely. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests as well as places visited by tourists. You should avoid places where crowds gather, including political meetings, religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people. See Terrorism
There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnaps can be motivated by criminality or terrorism, and could be carried out for financial or political gain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of kidnap increases after dark. The security environment in the north east has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap. Kidnaps in the north east have included humanitarian and private sector workers. There are also reports that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners. As well as in north-east Nigeria, extremist groups operate in some northern and middle belt states including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa. If you’re working or travelling in these States then you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnapping. See Terrorist kidnaps and Criminal kidnaps
Before considering travel to areas to which the FCDO advise against all or all but essential travel you should take professional security advice. Be vigilant at all times and keep others informed of your travel plans If you’re working in Nigeria you should follow your employer’s security advice, make sure your accommodation is secure and review your security measures regularly. Consular support is offered in Nigeria although limited in areas where the FCDO has existing advice against all travel and all but essential travel (as set out above).
UK health authorities have classified Nigeria as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Around 117,000 British nationals visit Nigeria each year. Most visits are trouble-free.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.