In a bid to contain a fast-spreading new strain of COVID-19 recorded in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the Federal Government has issued fresh protocol for airlines and passengers coming into Nigeria from the two countries.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority said non-Nigerian passengers who fail to comply with the new protocol would be returned to the UK and South Africa upon arrival in Nigeria.
This was contained in a circular dated December 26, 2020, and signed by NCAA Director-General, Capt Musa Nuhu.
The circular was titled, ‘Protocol For All Passengers Originating From United Kingdom And South Africa’.
Nuhu directed all indigenous and foreign airlines operating flights between Nigeria and the two countries to ensure all passengers comply with the fresh directive or face punitive measures.
The NCAA boss said the new protocol applies to both scheduled and unscheduled carriers and passengers originating from the UK and South Africa.
He said, “Passengers must present the following two documents in order to be allowed to board their flights to Nigeria:South Africa.
“ Pre-departure “ PERMIT TO FLY/QR code“ generated from the Nigeria International Travel Portal (https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) showing evidence of payment for the post-arrival day 7 COVID-19 PCR test and;
“Documentary evidence of a “NEGATIVE COVID-19“ PCR result done within 96 hours (4 days) of boarding from a verifiable laboratory or health facility, “
He said passengers would be received and processed separately by Public Health Authority on arrival in Nigeria.
He further said that all passengers would be required to self-isolate for seven days after arrival followed by a COVID-19 PCR test.
He stated that a dedicated register of arriving passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa would be opened for enhanced surveillance and active enforcement of the protocols.
“This shall be applicable to scheduled and non-scheduled flights conveying passengers originating from United Kingdom and South Africa.
“The earlier quarantine protocol which became effective on Sept.18, 2020 shall continue to subsist for flight originating from other countries except for the validity of the Pre- departure PCR test result which now be 96 hours (4 days) from date of departure.
“ The effective date is Monday Dec. 28, 2020 Local Time (2301UTC), “ he said.
The director general said punitive measure would be taken against who would fail to comply with the content of the letter.
According to him, any airlines fail to comply will be fined three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500).
“Airlines may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation. Repeated non-compliance by any airline will lead to the suspension of the Airline`s Approval/Permit to fly into the country, “