New protocols for travelers and international airlines in 2020 by the federal government of Nigeria have finally opened the international airport for full operations on the 5th of September, 2020 after months of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For international airports to go on full operations, some provisional protocols have been released by the Federal Government of Nigeria in full preparation for the resumption of international flights to Nigeria.
The Federal Government emphasized on the co-operation of international airlines concerning the provisional protocols. Below is the list of what the provisional protocols cover for the resumption of Nigeria’s international airlines in 2020.
- Departure from another country to Nigeria
- On arrival in Nigeria and
- After arrival.
Departure from another country to Nigeria
Airlines that are coming into Nigeria need to get their passengers to adhere to the following protocols. The passengers must:
- Present evidence of a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result which was carried out in the country of departure within two (2) to seven days (7) days before boarding the aircraft.
It is also compulsory for airline operatives to subject intending passenger(s) to thermal testing and COVID-19 symptom questioning before take off.
- Register and pay via a designated-online platform for a repeat of the PCR test which will be conducted in Nigeria after observing a mandatory seven (7)-day self-quarantine.
In addition, each traveller will complete a health declaration/self-reporting form on the designated platform and submit/print out for presentation upon arrival in Nigeria.
The link to the registration platform will be made available subsequently. Failure to adhere to these pre-boarding protocols will attract penalties that include:
- The guilty airline will pay a fine of USD3,500 per passenger, while the travelers will be refused entry and returned to the country of embarkation.
- However, returning Nigerians will be permitted entry subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a facility approved by the government and at a cost to the travelers.
On arrival in Nigeria
All travellers arriving in Nigeria will be required to:
- Present their international passports for clearance through the Nigerian Immigration System’s Migrants Identification Data Analysis System (MIDAS). That’s where the biodata page and passengers’ picture gets forwarded to all COVID-19 PCR Sample Collection Centres to enable proper identification before sample collection.
The Nigerian Immigration Service will not retain the international Passports of travellers.
- Go through a thorough routine of health screening at the airport, present evidence (electronic or print-out) of pre-boarding PCR test results, and payment/appointment for a repeat PCR test in Nigeria.
- Proceed on a 7-day self-isolation/quarantine and must present themselves at the sample collection center on the 7th day of arrival for the second PCR test.
Travellers who fail to show up for the PCR test after 14 days would be sanctioned accordingly.
NB: The PCR test results will be ready within 24-48 hours. Passengers admitted into the country will be monitored by the public health officers while under self-isolation.
People who tested positive to COVID-19 will be managed based on the National guidelines for COVID-19 treatment.
Covid-19 After Arrival
Upon arrival, each passenger will be subjected to compulsory 7- day self-isolation/ quarantine. Only individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19 after the exercise will be allowed to exit self-isolation on the 8th day.
The Protocol is a step in the right direction as it covers most of the fundamental areas of concern for stakeholders.
However, the Protocol fails to address the principle of reciprocity with other countries as well as operational concerns like the link for registration for the PCR tests. We expect the authorities will release further directives/information in this regard.
These protocols are important if you’re traveling into the country. Check this link to access full protocol.