Due to the constant increase of the coronavirus in some parts of the World, the Federal Government has banned travellers entry from India, Brazil and Turkey.
This decision is part of the precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus that was brought into Nigeria by other countries.
The FG has stated that the new travel advisory will be effective from May 4, 2021 and it is also subject to review within the first 4 weeks, but in a situation where passengers default in these instructions, the FG has imposed a fine of $3500 per passenger.
In a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha, the FG stated that ;
“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 press statement titled: “Travel Advisory For Passengers Arriving Nigeria From Brazil, India and Turkey”, stated that,
“The Government of Nigeria deeply empathises 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.
With specific references to India, Brazil and Turkey, Mustapha advised Nigerians to avoid non-essential trips to these countries, he said:
“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.
“The following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers who fail to comply with I and II(a) above: Airlines 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 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: 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 federal government stated that, “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.”