COVID-19: FG removes India from restricted countries’ list

Boss Mustapha says airlines have been directed not to board passengers with non-PCR COVID-19 tests.

It appears the Federal Government has lifted the ban placed on flights coming from India into Nigeria.

As part of precautionary measures to contain COVID-19 in the country, the FG had banned passengers, who visited India, Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey in the last 14 days from entering Nigeria.

But the new travel protocol released on Sunday, September 19, 2021, indicated that the ban placed on passengers from India has been lifted, as the country is no longer among the restricted countries mentioned by Boss Mustapha, the Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.

According to him, the protocol took effect from September 14, 2021.

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.

“The following conditions shall apply to such passengers: Within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test;

ii. If Positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with national treatment protocols; and

iii. If Negative, the Passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and 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

“This protocol comes into effect from 14th September 2021.”

Mustapha also said before departure from exit country, passengers must perform a COVID-19 PCR test not more than three days before boarding.

He added that the PCR tests done more than 72 hours before departure are not valid and persons would not be allowed to board.

He further emphasised 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.

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