The presidency has confirmed that visitors including Governors to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa will be required to carry out a rapid COVID-19 test at the gate before gaining entrance to the State House.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu who disclosed this to state house correspondents on Sunday said the test will be free and is part of efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

He added however that exemption will be granted to some few leaders who need to access the Villa.

While explaining that the test won’t take more than a few minutes and is part of efforts to curb the spike in global COVID-19 infection including the Omicron variant, Shehu said the measure is a temporary step that will be reviewed as things progress.

“Yes, a new regime of COVID-19 regulation has been put in place for all visitors to the Villa, not for Governors alone,” Shehu said.

“Every visitor to the Villa, not just those seeing the president, is now required to do a rapid test at the gate.

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“The kits are freely issued so no one is required to make payment. This is purely temporary in view of the recent spike in cases, and will be removed any moment the situation abates. It’s a growing practice in government offices in many countries.

“Although some exceptions have been made for a few leaders in government coming from outside the Villa, they too are encouraged to do those tests.

“This policy has rightfully been justified following the discovery of COVID-19 positivity in some of those tested since the last few days of the practice.”

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