COVID-19: Nigeria restricts passengers from India, Brazil, Turkey, issues travel advisory to citizens

COVID-19: Nigeria restricts passengers from India, Brazil, Turkey, issues travel advisory to citizens

The Nigerian Government has placed a restriction on travellers from Brazil, India and Turkey, after carrying out a risk assessment of countries with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases, the Presidential Steering Committee said on Saturday.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, in the statement noted that the "precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue," amidst the alarming rate of new variants of the virus.

WuzupNigeria gathered that the restriction would "effect from TUESDAY 4TH day of May 2021" and the guidelines provided to avoid the transportation of the new strains of COVID-19 into Nigeria "shall be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks."

According to the statement issued on May 1st, "Nigerians are strongly advised to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing a rising number of cases and deaths."

As part of the preventive measure put in place, the government has reduced the "validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96hrs to 72 hours. Henceforth PCR test results older than 72hours before departure shall not be accepted."

With respect to the three affected countries, "Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (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.

"The following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers who fail to comply with I and II(a) above: Airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 (Three Thousand Five Hundred dollars) for each defaulting passenger.

"Non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline. Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to undergo seven (7) days of mandatory quarantine in a Government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger. The following condition shall apply to such passengers:

"Within 24 hours of arrival 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.

"If Negative, the Passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.

"Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination, carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory and shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities."

The statement added that "Passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution.

"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."

Meanwhile, "State Governments are required to ensure that all returning travellers from ALL countries are monitored to ensure adherence to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival."

Also, "members of the public to adhere to all COVID-19 preventive measures in place including adherence to the national travel protocol, proper use of face mask, regular handwashing and physical distancing."