…To Fine Airline $3,500 For Each Defaulting Passenger
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, has reduced the COVID–19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96 to 72 hours.
This is just as the Committee also stated that PCR test results older than 72 hours before departure shall not be accepted;
The Committee came to this conclusion after due consideration and agreed to implement these protocols as it concerns Brazil, India and Turkey.
According to the Committee non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents, who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria, adding that this regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.
The Committee said that the following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers, who fail to comply with I and II(a) above:
Airlines, it said shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger while non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation/ Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19,Mr. Boss Mustapha, explained that Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to undergo seven days of mandatory quarantine in a Government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger.
The following condition , he said shall apply to such passengers within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test. adding that if positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with National treatment protocols.
If Negative, the passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.
Mustapha said that passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination.
The passenger shall carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory. and shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.
The Committee warned that passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution while 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 day of May 2021. The guidelines provided in this document shall be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks,” the Committee said.
The Committee said that its action is part of 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 high incidence of cases.
The risk assessment, according to the Committee took into consideration the epidemiology of cases, prevalence of variants of concern and average passenger volume between Nigeria and each country among other indicators.
It stated that of the countries assessed, this interim travel advisory applies to three countries in the first instance and that 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.
It advised Nigerians to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths.
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 said it 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, the Committee 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