Africa: Nigeria finally Bans Passengers from Brazil, India and Turkey reduces PCR validity to 72hours

After so many complaints from the Nigerian public the Government of Nigeria has finally announced a ban on passengers travelling into Nigeria from India, Turkey and Brazil. These countries are currently the Global Epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic.

India has mounting death counts and Covid19 positive numbers of 400000 persons. India is a popular medical tourism destination for Nigerians. There are lots of Indians living in Nigeria and the major construction works at Dangote refinery and the Deep Sea Ports have lots of Indian Workers.

Last year after the outbreak of coronavirus in Europe, Nigerians demand a closure of the borders to prevent the importation of the virus into Nigeria. It was not done until an Italian arrived with the virus before the Government eventually closing the Airports. The same scenario seems to be playing out again same time this year but this time it is about the Indian variant of the virus. Just like the last time the Government of Nigeria is responding a month after Easter.

According to a release sighted by Atqnews the PSC has imposed a ban on travels from the 3 Countries.

See Below:

“PRESIDENTIAL STEERING COMMITTEE ON COVID-19
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION

1st May 2021

PRESS RELEASE
TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR PASSENGERS ARRIVING NIGERIA FROM BRAZIL, INDIA, AND TURKEY

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has over the last few weeks been monitoring with concern, the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries, with additional focus on countries with high incidence, fatality rate, and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

The Government of Nigeria deeply empathizes with the citizens and governments of these countries, and assures them of our commitment, unflinching support, and solidarity at this time of need.

In our effort to continue to safeguard the health of the Nigerian population, as well as to minimize the risk of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee carried out a risk assessment of countries with high incidence of cases. The risk assessment took into consideration the epidemiology of cases, prevalence of variants of concern, and average passenger volume between Nigeria and each country amongst other indicators.

Of the countries assessed, this interim travel advisory applies to three (3) countries in the first instance. These 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.

Nigerians are strongly advised to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths.

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, after due consideration, has therefore approved the implementation of the following measures:

(i) Reduction of 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;
(ii) Guidelines Specific to Brazil, India, and Turkey
a. Any person who has 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.
b. The following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers who fail to comply with I and II(a) above:
i. Airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 (Three Thousand Five Hundred dollars) for each defaulting passenger.
ii. Non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline.
c. Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit shall 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:

i. 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.
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.
(iii) Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations
a. Must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination.
b. Carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory.
c. Shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.

(iv) False declaration
a. Passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution.
b. 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.

(v) State Governments are required to ensure that all returning travelers 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.

(vi) We urge 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 masks, regular handwashing, and physical distancing.

This travel advisory shall come into effect from TUESDAY 4TH day of May 2021. The guidelines provided in this document shall be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks.

Mr. BOSS MUSTAPHA
Secretary to the Government of the Federation
Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 “

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