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Nigeria: Covid-19 - Govt Refuses to Ban Flights From UK, SA

The Federal Government has said it will not ban flights from the United Kingdom and South Africa but has created a special register and released guidelines for the passengers.

This is in spite of calls for Nigeria to restrict flights from the UK and South Africa over the rising mutated COVID-19 cases that are said to be more dangerous.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation (NCAA) and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 refused to restrict these flights even when some countries with better COVID-19 preparedness have done so.

NCAA in a circular issued December 26, 2020 and signed by the Director-General, Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Authority said passengers from those countries will only be required to self-isolate for seven days after arriving into Nigeria even though the previous policy on self-isolation didn't prove to be effective as most Nigerians refused to comply.

The NCAA also reiterated that passengers must also present a negative result not more than 96 hours before flying in addition to paying for a second test to be done in Nigeria upon arrival.

"A dedicated register of arriving passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa will be opened for enhanced surveillance and enforcement of these protocols."

It also prescribed sanctions for defaulting airlines. The sanctions include: $3,500 fine for each defaulting passenger and or the airlines will be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to the port of embarkation.

It also said a repeated violation by an airline might result in suspension of entry into Nigeria.

During the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year, Nigeria failed to quickly ban foreign flights and that cost Nigeria about six months of lockdown, and an ongoing recession.


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