Starting from Tuesday, May 4 2021, travellers who visited virus-risk India, Brazil and Turkey in the last 14 days, will be barred from entering Nigeria, the Government has announced.
The move is 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.
“Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria,” the Government said in a statement signed by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.
“This regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.”
The Government has also reduced the validity period of the pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96 hours to 72 hours.
“Henceforth PCR test results older than 72hours before departure shall not be accepted; Guidelines Specific to Brazil, India and Turkey.”
The Nigerian Government stated that any airlines that fail to comply with the new directives “shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 (Three Thousand Five Hundred dollars) for each defaulting passenger.”
“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 who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to 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: Within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test.
“If positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with National treatment protocols. If Negative, the Passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.
“Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations must observe a 7-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.”
On false declaration, the Government said, “Passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution. 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.
“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.
The Nigerian Government urged 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 mask, regular handwashing and physical distancing.
It noted that the new guidelines will be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks.