The Federal Government has set a fine of $3,500 per passenger to be paid by international carriers should they fail to comply with stipulated COVID-19 protocols ahead of the resumption of international flights.
This was made known by Dr. Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, during a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.
According to Aliyu, a negative COVID-19 test result is one of the major criteria for each passenger before boarding and upon arrival in Nigeria when international flights resume on 29 August.
He also disclosed that the PTF has approved, based on scientific proof, to reduce the number of days of self-isolation for passengers whose test return positive for COVID-19 to seven days.
He said: “We will continue with the policy that airlines will only board passengers without symptoms of COVID-19 and with negative PCR result.
“Airlines will be fined $3,500 per passenger if they fail to comply with pre-boarding arrangement.
“On arrival in the country from 29th of August, passports will no longer be retained by the Nigeria Immigration Service.
“Rather, passengers will be allowed to proceed and exit the airport once they can show evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR result and evidence for payment for a repeat PCR result in the country; and where possible, where we have been able to get the health questionnaires that have been submitted.
“Passengers will be asked to proceed on self-isolation at home for a period of seven days. On day seven, they will proceed to their sample collection centre for a repeat PCR test and by day eight, they will be allowed to rejoin the society.
“Based on scientific proof, the PTF has been advised to shorten the isolation duration from 14 days to seven days provided passengers have a negative PCR result from day seven.
“Passengers will be monitored by public health officers throughout the period of isolation and those who develop symptoms will be treated.”
“In terms of ensuring compliance with COVID-19 protocol, we are currently working with the Nigeria Immigration Service to design a system that will allow us to determine those that have not submitted themselves for a repeat COVID-19 PCR test from Day 7 onward.
“These passengers may be sanctioned with the inclusion on a travel watch list or their electronic passport suspended for a period of time if they refuse to have a repeat PCR test.”