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Thursday, February 22, 2024

FG relaxes COVID-19 test for all travellers

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), yesterday, said pre-departure and post-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests are no longer required for all passengers coming into the country, irrespective of vaccination status.

In a memo to all aviation service providers by the NCAA tagged, Revised COVID-19 Public health guidelines for all aviation service providers, domestic and international operators, personally signed by the director general, Capt. Musa Nuhu the regulator, also said facemask is no longer mandatory for airline passengers traveling locally in the country.

According to Capt Nuhu, prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and most parts of the world has remained at a low level for a sustained period.

He, however, stated that wearing of facemask inside Airport terminal buildings, onboard aircraft by airport workers, passengers, and crew members is no longer mandatory.

He said, “Wearing of facemask by passengers onboard aircraft or inside Airport terminal buildings is discretionary but recommended. Persons aged 60 years and above, immunocompromised, due to organ transplant, cancer, those with co-morbidities, e.g. Heart disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, etc, are advised to use facemasks, wash their hands with water and soap, use hand alcohol-based sanitisers, and avoid large gatherings.

“Disinfection of bags at the entrance of terminal buildings is no longer required. Airlines are, therefore, required to resume serving catering- meals and drinks, on board aircraft.”

Capt. Nuhu, in the memo, stated that all other COVID-19 quarantine, travel requirements are, hereby, made optional, saying maintaining social distancing at airport terminal buildings is no longer mandatory.

“The wearing of facemask inside airport terminal buildings and onboard aircraft by airport workers, passengers, and crew members is no longer mandatory.

facemask by passengers onboard aircraft or inside Airport terminal buildings is discretionary but recommended. Persons aged 60 years and above, immunocompromised (e.g. due to organ transplant, cancer, etc), those with co-morbidities (e.g. Heart disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, etc), are advised to use facemasks, wash their hands with water and soap, use hand alcohol-based sanitisers, and avoid large gatherings.”

“Disinfection of bags at the entrance of terminal buildings is no longer required. Airlines are therefore required to resume serving catering (meals and drinks) on board aircraft. Maintaining social distancing at airport terminal buildings is no longer mandatory. Facilities and conveyances are advised to maintain good environmental hygiene, good ventilation, and encourage good hand and respiratory hygiene.

“The use of alcohol-based sanitizer by passengers and airport workers is recommended. Boarding and disembarkation protocols are to be maintained.”

On international airlines operation, the NCAA DG said pre-departure and post-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests are no longer required for all passengers irrespective of vaccination status.

“All requirements in ‘A’ above shall apply. COVID-19 Travel Testing:, pre-departure and post-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests are no longer required for all passengers irrespective of vaccination status. PCR tests required for all passengers who are partially/not fully vaccinated have been suspended. Declaration form and permission to travel/ QR code is no longer required.

“A simplified Health estionnaire form, non-COVlD-19 specific, shall be completed by all passengers travelling to Nigeria preferably pre-departure on the Nigerian International Travel Portal (NITP). Passengers who fail to fill the health questionnaire on the NITP pre-departure will be required to fill the health questionnaire either onboard the aircraft prior to landing or at the Airport terminal building upon arrival.”

“All other COVID-19 quarantine, travel requirements are hereby made optional.

This AOL supersedes previous AOLs issued on COVID-19 for domestic and international operations.”

He, however, disclosed that all aviation  Service Providers are required to comply with the above requirements.

“All Aviation Service Providers are hereby required to comply with the above requirements. Non-compliance by any Aviation Service provider with this AOL shall attract appropriate sanctions. This AOL shall be effective immediately.”

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