As the airspace opens up gradually for international travels, measures have been put in place to ensure safety of all passengers entering or leaving Nigeria as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
Such measures include the launch of the Nigerian International Travel Portal(NITP) by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF-COVID-19) with support from the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19(CACOVID).
The portal, which is hosted on the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) website, houses a list of mandatory protocols that travelers must undergo.
The protocol requires that all persons arriving in Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID-19 having undergone a PCR test in the country of departure pre-boarding.
The test, however, must be done within 96 hours before departure and preferably 72 hours pre-boarding. Additionally, passengers will be required to pay for the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Nigeria.
The repeat test will take place seven days after arrival within which strict adherence to self-isolation rules must be observed. Also, travelers are compelled to fill in the online Health Declaration/Self-Reporting form and submit online or print out for presentation on arrival. The payments and the registration will be done via the Nigerian International Travel Portal.
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“Before boarding, passengers must upload their COVID-19 PCR negative results on to the national payment portal and bring along an electronic or hard copy of the result for presentation at the airport, while at the time of boarding, all travelers will undergo thermal screening for fever and questioned for symptoms of COVID-19,” the protocol said.
On arrival in Nigeria, travelers will go through the routine Port Health screening and present electronic or print-out Access Report sent to their emails for verification and approval by the Port Health Officials. Any traveler who develops symptoms during this exercise will immediately be placed in institutional quarantine where appropriate care will be administered. If any of the passengers that are deported tests positive for COVID-19, all his close primary contacts will be required to undergo enhanced screening and a follow-up PCR test if necessary.
The protocol warns that passengers who fail to show up for a repeat test after 7 days may attract sanctions such as suspension of passports or inclusion on a travel no-fly list for 6 months, and denied foreign travel for the same period. It also revealed that airlines would be fined $3,500 per passenger for failure to comply with the pre-boarding requirements.
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