The Nigerian High Commission in Canada says it will resume in-person immigration and consular services on Thursday.
This is coming six months after it shut its doors in compliance with Canada’s guidelines for the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The reopening of the commission in Canada is contained in a statement, which indicates a number of rules that applicants must comply with to access the services.
However, it has been issuing Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) and visas to applicants needing urgent travels, via email since then.
One of the guidelines required applicants to apply online and request for interview appointment through email.
“Everyone coming to the chancery has to come in with face masks/covering and sanitise their hands.
“You are also required to practice social distancing. These are public health measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19,” it stated.
Warning against gate crashing, which is common at Nigerian missions abroad, the High Commission said only those with printed interview invitations would be attended to.
Canadian authorities are expanding restrictions on gatherings amid a surge in COVID-19 cases to unprecedented levels in the country since May.
According to its Public Health Agency, the North American country has reported a daily average of close to 1,000 infections within the last seven days.
A tally by John Hopkins University puts the country’s caseload at 148,411, including 9,283 deaths.
Recall that the Nigerian Embassy in Canada had in August, announced an indefinite suspension of its activities.
In a statement which was posted on its website, the commission also said the special intervention arrangement for emergency cases “on discretionary basis” had been suspended.
The commission said it had devised a system in which citizens with emergency cases were attended to strictly by appointment that allowed a limited number of people into the chancery at a time — in compliance with the laid-down rules of physical distancing.
It said the situation came to a head on August 14, when a group showed up at the Nigerian high commission in Canada and refused to allow embassy staff members to attend to those who had appointments.