Nigeria announced on Sunday that it has banned passengers from Brazil, India and Turkey as the countries battle third wave of coronavirus with effect from May 4.
People who have visited the country within fourteen days preceding their travel to Nigeria will also not be allowed entry.
The Nigerian authorities said airlines that fail to comply with measures will pay $3,500 penalty for each defaulting passenger, with non-Nigerians to be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to airline.
This regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.
Consequently, authorities also advised Nigerians to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths.
The chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha said that 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.
“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,” Mustapha said.
“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.”
He explained that such passengers within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test and 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.
According to him, passengers 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 and would be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.
The SGF observed that PSC after due consideration has therefore approved the implementation of the measures and has reduced the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96hrs to 72 hours adding that henceforth PCR test results older than 72hours before departure shall not be accepted.