Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Federation Government and Chairman of the PSC on COVID-19, said on Monday in Abuja that the revised International Travel Protocols would come into force from April 4, 2022.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that Nigeria has joined other countries in tightening its COVID-19 regulations.
Some leaders maintain some restrictions on travel and gatherings, while other countries are easing their restrictions.
The World Health Organization has urged countries to follow the science rather than impose flight bans in a bid to contain the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus.
According to Mustapha, incoming (fully vaccinated) passengers arriving in Nigeria will no longer be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test prior to departure.
He said that upon arrival, fully vaccinated passengers will be swabbed at the airport for the Center for Disease Control (NCDC) rapid antigen test, inside the arrival hall of all entry points and country airports.
“Passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours prior to departure, or take a day 2 and day 7 test upon arrival. Such passengers are expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform.
“Fully vaccinated passengers will not be charged for rapid arrival antigen tests at the airport;
“The rules that apply to fully vaccinated adults also apply to children ages 10 to 18; They will not be required to take PCR tests before arrival, but a sample will be taken in the arrival hall, but they will not be charged.
“All passengers traveling outside of Nigeria are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and comply with COVID-19 protocols and requirements in their destination country,” it said.
The SGF said that the PSC continues to strongly recommend the use of masks in closed environments, adding that in open spaces, the use of masks is discretionary.
The SGF revealed that the country still has the National Response, as it continues to monitor global trends and adapt them to the country’s situation.
He stressed that there has been a steady decline in the number of cases around the world, but that does not give Nigerians the clout to let their guard down just yet.
Mustapha said there were predictions of rebounds as seen in China, South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, France and Hong Kong.
“In fact, China has re-introduced lockdowns in some cities due to the increase in cases.
“So far, the world has registered more than 471 million confirmed cases, 6 million deaths and more than 11 billion doses of vaccines administered, while in Nigeria we have registered 255,103 cases and 3,142 people have died.
“We have vaccinated more than 20 million people with at least the first dose. This number is not very encouraging, hence the need for all eligible Nigerians to go out and get vaccinated,” he stated.
He revealed that the Port Health Services have so far tested some 2,357 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine for COVID-19 out of more than 8,000 residents or students living in Ukraine.
He said that of these passengers, 193 tested positive for COVID-19 and were handled according to the country’s protocols.
He warned Nigerians to beware of scammers, especially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, who come to help them access the NITP and, in the process, register them as children to avoid paying for the post-arrival test.
According to him, the PSC wishes to warn Nigerians that two important religious holidays (Passover and Sallah) are approaching and we will experience an increase in passenger traffic in and out of the country.
“As the PSC prepares to intensify surveillance and other control activities, we urge States and all Nigerians to also increase their vigilance and take steps to moderate activities.
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