The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has given out a new protocol for all passengers originating from the United Kingdom and South Africa effective from December 28 as the country prepares for a second wave of the pandemic.
The NCAA Director General, Mr Musa Nuhu, issued the protocol in a letter to all Nigerian operators and foreign operators flying into Nigeria with a reference NCC/DG/AIR/11/16/286 on Sunday in Abuja.
According to Nuhu, the move affected all airlines with passengers originating from the United Kingdom and South Africa regardless of transit arrangements.
He said the Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force, had reviewed quarantine protocol due to the recent spike in cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria and reported a highly transmissible new variant of virus in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
“For the two countries, passengers must present the following documents in order to be allowed to board their flight to Nigeria.
“Pre-departure “PERMIT TO FLY/QR code“ generated from the Nigeria International Travel Portal (https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) showing evidence of payment for the post-arrival day 7 COVID-19 PCR test and;
“Documentary evidence of a “NEGATIVE COVID-19“ PCR result done within 96 hours (4 days) of boarding from a verifiable laboratory or health facility,” he said.
Nuhu said passengers would be received and processed separately by the Public Health Authority on arrival in Nigeria.
The NCAA boss further said that all passengers would be required to self-isolate for seven days after arrival followed by a COVID-19 PCR test.
He stated that a dedicated register of arriving passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa would be opened for enhanced surveillance and active enforcement of the protocols.
“This shall be applicable to scheduled and non-scheduled flights conveying passengers originating from the United Kingdom and South Africa.
“The earlier quarantine protocol which became effective on Sept. 18, 2020, shall continue to subsist for a flight originating from other countries except for the validity of the pre-departure PCR test result which now is 96 hours (4 days) from date of departure.
“The effective date is Monday, December 28, 2020, Local Time (2301UTC),” he said.
Nuhu said the punitive measure would be taken against who would fail to comply with the content of the letter.
According to him, any airlines fail to comply will be fined three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500).
“Airlines may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to the point of embarkation. Repeated non-compliance by any airline will lead to the suspension of the Airline`s Approval/Permit to fly into the country,” he said.