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FG bans travellers from Brazil, India, Turkey amid surge in COVID-19 cases, deaths

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 says travellers who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria, will be denied entry into the country from Tuesday, 4th May 2021.

The committee said the ban is as a result of the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries especially in the affected countries which have recorded high infections, fatality rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation  and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in a statement warned that airlines will  pay a penalty of $3,500  for any defaulting passenger and such pasenger will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline.

He however said the regulation does not apply to passengers who transited through the affected countries.

Mustapha further informed that Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit from these countries will undergo 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” he said.

The chairman added that Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations
Must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination, arry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory; and wo be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.

The chairman further informed that the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers have been reduced from 96hrs to 72 hours.

“Henceforth PCR test results older than 72hours before departure shall not be accepted”, he said.

He however urged 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.

Mustapha further warned that provision of false or misleading contact information by passengers will be liable to prosecution.

He called on state governments  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.

While the guidelines take effect from Tuesday, the chairman said it’s provisions will be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks.

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