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COVID-19: FG Releases Strong Penalties For Unvaccinated Travellers

COVID-19: FG Releases Strong Penalties For Unvaccinated Travellers

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The Federal Government has issued strong penalties for unvaccinated travellers.

This was explained in a new international travel guideline over the mandatory PCR testing.

Wellness Healthcare had reported that the Federal Government had relaxed COVID-19 protocols in Nigeria.

In a follow-up to this report, the Federal Government has now issued stiff penalties for any unvaccinated traveller. Especially those who violates the new rules.

The Chairman Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha disclosed this.

Mustapha who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said this directive takes effect from Monday, April 4, 2022.

He said this ‘Provisional Travel Protocol for Travellers Arriving Nigeria’ also affects airlines that board violators of the new rules.

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This new guideline also applies for travellers between the ages of 10 and 18. It was stated that travellers will be required to take the PCR test 48 hours before boarding a flight to Nigeria

The guideline read in parts:

 “This protocol is a revision of the Travel Protocol released on 29th November, 2021 Interim Travel Guidelines for Passengers arriving in Nigeria.

“In-bound passengers to Nigeria who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to carry out COVID-19 PCR test before boarding Nigeria-bound flights.

“Fully vaccinated passengers arriving Nigeria will not also be required to carry out Post arrival PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test upon arriving Nigeria.

“Children below the age of 18 years will be accorded the same privileges as persons who are fully vaccinated. In-bound Passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated for COVID-19 shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hrs before departure and undergo days two and seven post-arrival PCR tests at their own cost.

“All in-bound passengers MUST register via the online Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP– https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng).’

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This new guideline requires all travellers leaving Nigeria to have evidence of full COVID-19 vaccine.

“Comply with the COVID-19 guidelines of their destination or transit countries; and to familiarise themselves with the COVID-19 travel requirements of their destination and transit countries before embarking on the journey,” it stated.

Will Airlines Be Fined?

The directive states that any airline that boards violators would pay $3,500 fine for each violator.

They could also be banned from flying into Nigeria.

It stated:

 “Airlines that board travellers without the appropriate required documents; Vaccine certificate, a negative COVID-19 PCR test done not more than 48 hours prior to boarding and a Paid Permit to Travel /QR code (as may be applicable to the passenger), shall be sanctioned as follows:

“Travellers, who are non-Nigerians, will be refused entry into Nigeria and returned to the point of embarkation at a cost to the airline.

“Travellers who are Nigerians or holders of permanent resident permit will be allowed entry, but subjected to the procedure outlined in Section D below.

“In addition, travellers arriving with forged (fake) vaccine certificates or COVID-19 PCR results shall be prosecuted and required to carry out PCR tests on arrival, on days two and seven.

“Airlines shall be fined USD 3,500 per traveller for failure to comply with any of the above mentioned pre-boarding requirements. Airlines that consistently fail to comply with the above requirements may be banned from coming to Nigeria.

“At the time of boarding, travellers will be required to undergo temperature screening and asked about COVID-19 symptoms. Travellers with temperature of 38°C and other COVID-19 related signs and symptoms shall not be allowed to board the flight.”

Source: PUNCH HealthWise

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