The Federal Government plans to fine airlines $3,500 per passenger or bans them from flying in Nigeria if they fail to comply with the new COVID-19 pre-boarding requirements.
Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), announced this on Wednesday.
Pre-boarding requirements, according to PSC, include a COVID-19, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) three days before boarding.
According to Mustapha, the test detects the presence of a virus if you are infected at the time of the test. Tests can also detect fragments of viruses even after you are no longer infected. This is part of the newly revised travel restrictions in the country.
The COVID-19 PCR test must be performed no more than three days (72 hours) before boarding. PCR tests conducted more than 72 hours before departure are not valid, and the person will not be able to board. A rapid antigen or antibody test is not acceptable; only the PCR test can be used.
“The validity of the test begins with the collection of the sample.”. “For passengers arriving in Nigeria after multiple connections.”
In his opinion, passengers should bring along electronic or hard copies of their COVID-19 PCR test upon departure and arrival in Nigeria.
Moreover, the Chairman of the PSC said foreigners without PCR testing would be deported.
All intending passengers (including diplomats and children younger than 10 years old) must register via an online national travel portal (Nigeria International Travel Portal).
They should fill out the online Health Declaration/Self-Report form located on the portal and ensure that the information/contact details provided on the form are correct and verified.
“Foreign passport holders who arrive in Nigeria without a valid PCR result (A forged COVID-19 PCR result or a non-PCR CoVID-19 test will be denied entry into this country and will be deported at the cost of the airline which transported them.
Passengers who are Nigerians or possess a permanent residence permit will be allowed entry.
“Airlines that don’t comply with any of the pre-boarding requirements shall be fined USD 3,500 per passenger. Airlines that consistently fail to comply with the above requirements may be banned from coming to Nigeria,” he added.
According to him, passengers who visited Turkey, Brazil, India, or South Africa within 14 days will be denied entry into Nigeria.
Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents whose days precede travel to Nigeria will be denied entry, according to the SGF.