Ahead of the September 5, restart of international flights to and from Nigeria, the Federal Government on Monday threatened to suspend from travelling for six months passengers who fail to comply with the Covid-19 protocol put in place to control the importation of the virus.
Government had shut the nation’s airports to flight operations in March to curb the spread of the lethal coronavirus disease.
Domestic flights however resumed from July 8 while the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, would be reopened for international flights on September 5.
The PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, who gave an update during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 in Abuja on Monday, said there would be sanctions for non-compliance with the guidelines on the part of the airlines and the passengers.
“There will definitely be sanctions if they do not comply. Sanctions to the airlines if they allow passengers without a Covid-19 PCR result to board, they will be sanctioned on arrival in Nigeria. That is the airline. For passengers that decline to do the test, at Day 7, we will still allow them after Day 14 to have a test done after which their details will be forwarded to Port Health, Immigration, and part of the security services.
“It is very likely we will put in place measures to enforce this by suspending travel up to six months or deny foreign travels altogether.
“But beyond the sanctions, because as responsible citizens, we all want our country to continue to be Covid-19-free once we get on top of the pandemic, so, we expect the vast number of travellers to continue to comply with these simple, straightforward measures we are putting in place for the benefit of our country and for the health of our citizens.”
Aliyu had also warned that airlines that fail to comply with the COVID-19 protocol for the resumption of international flights would pay a fine of $3,500 per passenger.