As Nigeria prepares to open its airports to international flights on August 29, 2020, the federal government has warned international carriers against flying travellers infected with COVID-19 into the country, slamming a $3, 500 penalty on defaulters.
The National Coordinator of the Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, during a briefing of the taskforce in Abuja on Monday, said: “We will continue with the policy of ensuring that airlines only board passengers without symptoms of Covid-19 and with negative PCR results. Airlines will be fined $3,500 if they fail to comply with pre-boarding Covid-19 requirements.”
Aliyu warned that all intending travellers into Nigeria must have a coronavirus negative test result to be eligible to fly as stipulated in the protocol for travellers and carriers.
The official further said: “All travellers coming into the country will continue to observe the old quarantine protocol that we currently have. We will be continuing with the process of requesting for a negative PCR result for all passengers intending to travel to Nigeria. This test must be a PCR test.”
Nigeria expects to scale up coronavirus tests to accommodate tests of international travellers. The taskforce says it expects the NCDC to ramp up testing capacity with the opening of international flights.
Nigeria so far has logged 52, 548 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 39, 257 recoveries and 1004 deaths. The country has struggled with adequate testing for its estimated 200 million population.