The Federal Government has lifted the ban placed on flights coming into the country from India.
This was disclosed by the Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, via a new travel protocol released on Sunday, which indicated that the ban has been lifted. However, the sanctions placed on airlines that convey passengers from restricted countries and travellers who are non-Nigerians remain.
Mustapha said, “Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, 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.
“Airlines who fail to comply shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 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 a permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, 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.”
Highlights of conditions that apply to such passengers:
Within 24 hours of arrival, passengers 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 be made to undergo a repeat PCR test on Day-7 of their quarantine.
False declaration: Passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution; and 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
Mustapha explained that before departure from exit country, passengers must perform a COVID-19 PCR test not more than three days before boarding, adding that the PCR tests done more than 72 hours before departure are not valid and persons will not be allowed to board.
The PSC chairman stressed that airlines have been directed not to board passengers with non-PCR COVID-19 tests (such as antigen/or antibody tests), a positive COVID-19 PCR test result, or tests performed beyond 72 hours of boarding.
“Airlines that board passengers without any of the TWO documents (a negative COVID-19 PCR test done not more than 72 hours prior to boarding and a Permit to Travel Certificate/QR code), shall be sanctioned as follows: passengers, who are Non-Nigerians, will be refused entry and returned to the point of embarkation at a cost to the airline;
“Passengers who are Nigerians or holders of a permanent resident permit will be allowed entry but subjected to the procedure outlined in Section D.
“In addition, passengers arriving with forged (fake) COVID-19 PCR results shall be referred for prosecution; airlines shall be fined $3,500 per passenger,” he added.
He said all passengers arriving in Nigeria will be required to go through the routine Port Health screening and present electronic or print-out evidence of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test and the Permit to Travel Certificate/QR Code as well as present their international passports for clearance through the Nigerian Immigration Service System’s Migrants Identification Data Analysis System.
What you should know about the ban
The government had banned passengers, who visited India, Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey in the last 14 days from entering the country as part of precautionary measures to contain the virus in the country.