The Federal Government says it has rolled out new containment measures against the importation of the new strain of COVID-19 into the country from the United Kingdom and South Africa.
National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said this on Thursday [today] while briefing newsmen in Abuja, noting that returnees from the two countries are expected to present two documents before boarding.
He said international travellers must register with the Nigeria international travel portal.
“We are concerned about the emergence of the new variant of COVID-19 in the UK and an additional mutant in South Africa.
“Our protocol to ensure the safety of our citizens and prevent the importation of cases into the country is one of the strictest.
“Specifically, for the UK and South Africa, the PTF has met and we have decided that additional measures would be required to ensure the safety of our citizens.
“So, effective from Monday, December 28, all passengers coming into the country from the UK and South Africa on direct flights must use the Nigeria international travel portal to register, fill in the health questionnaire; they must upload a negative COVID-19 PCR result with a validity of not more than five days, and they must pay for the COVID-19 PCR test at Day 7 of their arrival in-country.”
Continuing, he said, “When you are leaving the UK or South Africa, you need two documents that you must present to the airlines.
“The first document which we already have is a negative COVID-19 PCR result. The second document is a permit to travel.
“They have to present these documents to the airlines in order to board.
“The only way you can get a permit to travel on the travel portal is by filling your health questionnaire electronically, uploading a COVID-19 PCR result and paying for the Day 7 test.
“If you do not present a permit to travel, the airlines have been directed not to allow you board”.
Aliyu said a special register would be opened at the airport for all passengers arriving from both countries and that there would be an enhanced surveillance system through which they can be contacted later.
Explaining the Federal Government’s decision not to hurriedly ban flights from certain countries, he said efforts are ongoing to scale up to guard against importation of COVID-19 virus into the country.
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