By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has banned incoming flights from Brazil, India and Turkey, noting that anyone who has been in these three countries within 14 days of their intended arrival date in Nigeria will be banned from entering the country.
The chairman, PSC on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this in a statement signed by him and made available to journalists on Sunday.
According to him, “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.
“Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit shall undergo seven 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 seven of their quarantine.
“Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations. Must observe a seven day self-isolation at their final destination.
Carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory. Shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities,” he outlined.
The PSC chairman, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the latest regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.
He also said passengers who provide false or misleading contact information would be liable to prosecution.
“Person 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,” he added.
The PSC chairman said that state governments were required to ensure that all returning travelers from all countries were 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.
He stated that this travel advisory shall come into effect from May 4, 2021.
Mustapha noted that the guidelines were subject to review after an initial period of four weeks.
According to him, “over the last few weeks we have 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.”