The federal government has issued a new travel protocol to bar non- Nigerian passengers who have been in South Africa, Brazil, India, and Turkey within 14 days of intended arrival into Nigeria.
On Monday, the FG added South Africa to the list of countries banned from flying into Nigeria due to the surge in the country’s COVID-19 cases.
In a statement on Wednesday, Boss Mustapha, chairman of the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, said that any airline that fails to comply with the ban shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger.
The protocol, which will take effect on July 2, noted that the ban does not affect those who only transited through the countries as they would not be denied entry into Nigeria.
“Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, India, Turkey or South Africa 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,” the statement reads.
“The following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers who fail to comply with (a) above: airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger; and non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the airline.
“Nigerians and those with permanent resident permits who visited Brazil, India, Turkey and South Africa 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 conditions shall apply to such passengers: within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test; if positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with national treatment protocols; and 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 explained that the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers still remains at 72 hours.
Before boarding, travellers must also present a Permit to Travel Certificate/QR code), generated from the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).
He noted that airlines would be fined $3,500 per passenger for lifting any traveller without the two documents.
“Airlines who consistently fail to comply with the above requirements may be banned from coming to Nigeria,” he added.