FG slams $3,500/person fine on airlines that fly COVID-19 passengers

13 key points to note in eased lockdown 

Sani Aliyu

 

As international flights resume in Nigeria this weekend, the Federal Government on Monday said any airline that flies a passenger into the country without a negative COVID-19 test result will be made to pay fine of $3,500 per passenger. 

The government said a negative COVID-19 test result remained important for each passenger before boarding and upon arrival in Nigeria.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, who disclosed this in Abuja, said, “We will continue with the policy that airlines will only board passengers without symptoms of COVID-19 and with negative PCR result. Airlines will be fined $3,500 per passenger if they fail to comply with pre-boarding arrangement.

“On arrival in the country from 29th of August, passports will no longer be retained by the Nigeria Immigration Service. Rather, passengers will be allowed to proceed and exit the airport once they can show evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR result and evidence for payment for a repeat PCR result in the country; and where possible, where we have been able to get the health questionnaires that have been submitted.

“Passengers will be asked to proceed on self-isolation at home for a period of seven days. On Day 7, they will proceed to their sample collection centre for a repeat PSR test and by Day 8, they will be allowed to rejoin the society.

“Based on scientific proof, the PTF has been advised to shorten the isolation duration from 14 days to seven days provided passengers have a negative PCR result from Day 7.

“Passengers will be monitored by public health officers throughout the period of isolation and those who develop symptoms will be treated. In terms of ensuring compliance with COVID-19 protocol, we are currently working with the Nigeria Immigration Service to design a system that will allow us to determine those that have not submitted themselves for a repeat COVID-19 PCR test from Day 7 onward. These passengers may be sanctioned with the inclusion on a travel watch list or their electronic passport suspended for a period of time if they refuse to have a repeat PCR test.”