The Nigerian high commission in London has suspended passport processing services until further notice.
In a notice seen by Newsmen, the commission said the suspension is necessary to limit exposure of staff and applicants due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
According to the notice, the suspension is effective from Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
“This is to notify that effective, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Nigeria high commission, London will suspend the processing of passport till further notice,” the notice read.
“This proactive measure is to protect and limit the exposure of both applicants and staff of the mission to the COVlD-19 outbreak. which is in line with the health advisory issued by the UK government.”
However, it said, persons in need of emergency travel certificates for urgent trips can contact the commission through mail or telephone.
At present, 1,500 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK and local health authorities estimate that between 35,000 and 50,000 cases exist in the country.
Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, had previously been criticised for his seeming slow response to the outbreak.
However, the UK government changed its strategy on Monday; advising people to work from home where possible and stay away from clubs and restaurants.
The Nigerian embassy and consulates in the United States also suspended passport interviews and biometric capture on Monday.