The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has reversed its descsion to collect passengers passports at point of entry into the country, as it issued fresh COVID-19 protocol for passengers and airlines yesterday.
The nation’s airspace is set to open August 29, after the ban of flights operations on the airspace since March, to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, made this known during a briefing in Abuja yesterday where he reel out the new guidelines for the resumption of international flights.
According to Aliyu, “We will continue with the policy that airlines will only board passengers without symptoms of COVID-19 and with negative PCR result.
“Airlines will be fined $3,500 per passenger if they fail to comply with pre-boarding arrangement.
“On arrival in the country from 29th of August, passports will no longer be retained by the Nigeria Immigration Service”
“Rather, passengers will be allowed to proceed and exit the airport once they can show evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR result and evidence for payment for a repeat PCR result in the country; and where possible, where we have been able to get the health questionnaires that have been submitted”.
Aliyu posited that a negative COVID-19 test result remained important for each passenger before boarding and upon arrival in Nigeria; while it also warned that airlines that fail to comply would pay a fine of $3,500 per passenger.
His words, “Passengers will be asked to proceed on self-isolation at home for a period of seven days. On Day 7, they will proceed to their sample collection centre for a repeat PSR test and by Day 8, they will be allowed to rejoin the society.
The PTF, as a measure had shorten the isolation duration from 14 days to seven days provided passengers have a negative PCR result from Day 7.
Aliyu argued that passengers will be monitored by public health officers throughout the period of isolation and those who develop symptoms will be treated.
“In terms of ensuring compliance with COVID-19 protocol, we are currently working with the Nigeria Immigration Service to design a system that will allow us to determine those that have not submitted themselves for a repeat COVID-19 PCR test from Day 7 onward” he noted.