Passengers at the arrival immigration counter of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos /Photo: FAAN

Nigeria to fine airlines heavily for COVID-19 violations – Govt warns

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has vowed to fine airlines $3,500 for each passenger that refuses to adhere to the new travel protocols announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

In a letter, dated 26 December and signed by its Director-General, Capt Musa Nuhu, NCAA directed passengers flying from the United Kingdom and South Africa to present a pre-departure permit to fly/ QR Code and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 96 hours of boarding.

In the circular titled ‘Protocol for all passengers originating from the United Kingdom and South Africa’, Nuhu explained that the new protocols were to curtail a new variant of the COVID-19 virus that was fast spreading round the world.

The circular read in part,

“Passengers must present the following two documents to be allowed to board their flights to Nigeria:

“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 (four days) of boarding from a verifiable laboratory or health facility.”

Nuhu further stated, “On arrival in Nigeria, passengers will be received and processed separately by public health authorities.

“All passengers will be required to self-isolate for seven days after arrival followed by a COVID-19 PCR test.”

Nuhu equally warned that any carrier flouting the new rules would have its permit or approval to fly into Nigeria suspended.

He added that the PTF reviewed the quarantine protocols to ensure that passengers originating from both UK and SA would be received and processed separately by public health authorities.

The NCAA also stated that all the new travel rules would apply to both scheduled and non-scheduled passengers from both countries effective Monday 28 December 2020.

A dedicated list of passengers from both locations is set to be opened as the government threatened to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to the point of embarkation.

Abeeb Alawiye

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