The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a temporary ban on non-Nigerian passengers who have been in Brazil, India, or Turkey within 14 days of intended arrival into Nigeria.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who announced this in a statement issued by his office weekend, said any airline that fails to comply with the directive would pay a mandatory penalty of $3,500.
He also explained that the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers has been reduced from 96 hours to 72 hours.
Mustapha said that the precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue.
The statement reads” The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has over the last few weeks been monitoring with concern, the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries, with additional focus on countries with high incidence, fatality rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.
“The Government of Nigeria deeply empathizes with the citizens and governments of these countries and assures them of our commitment, unﬂinching support, and solidarity at this time of need.
“In our effort to continue to safeguard the health of the Nigerian population, as well as to minimize the risk of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee carried out a risk assessment of countries with a high incidence of cases. The risk assessment took into consideration the epidemiology of cases, prevalence of variants of concern, and average passenger volume between Nigeria and each country amongst other indicators.
“Of the countries assessed, this interim travel advisory applies to three (3) countries in the ﬁrst instance. These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue.
“The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, after due consideration, has therefore approved the implementation of the following measures: Reduction of the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96hrs to 72 hours. Henceforth PCR test results older than 72hours before departure shall not be accepted.
“Any person who has visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria. This regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.
“Airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger. Non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at a cost to the airline.
“Nigerians and those with permanent resident permits shall undergo seven days of mandatory quarantine in a government approved facility at the point of entry city and at a cost to the passenger.
“Person(s) who willfully disregard or refuse to comply with directions of Port Health staff, security agencies or evade quarantine shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law. State Governments are required to ensure that all returning travelers from all countries are monitored to ensure adherence to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival.
“We urge members of the public to adhere to all COVID-19 preventive measures in place including adherence to the national travel protocol, proper use of face mask, regular hand washing, and physical distancing.
“This travel advisory shall come into effect from Tuesday 4th May 2021. The guidelines provided in this document shall be subject to review after an initial period of four weeks.”