AS the new travel rule takes effect from tomorrow from Monday December 28, 2020, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will fine airlines $3,500 for each passenger and may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation for non compliance to Nigerian government’s rules concerning the United Kingdom and South Africa.
This is just as the regulator has declared that repeated non-compliance by any airline will lead to a suspension of the airlines’ approval or permit to fly into the country.
NCAA issued an AOL to all indigenous and foreign operators flying into Nigeria stating that passengers flying from the United Kingdom and South Africa must present Pre-departure permit to fly/ QR Code generated from Nigeria international travel portal and a documentary evidence of a Negative Covid-19 PCR test result done within 96 hours of boarding.
The NCAA in its latest AOL issued yesterday December 26, 2020 and addressed to Country and Accountable Managers said government through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 has reviewed the quarantine protocols to include that passengers originating from both UK and SA would be received and processed separately by public health authorities.
The CAA also stated that all the new travel rules would be applicable to both scheduled and non scheduled passengers from both countries.
The AOL signed by the Director General of NCAA Captain Musa Nuhu read, “With the recent spike in cases of Covid-19 in Nigeria and the reported transmissible new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the Nigerian government through Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 has reviewed the quarantine protocols.
“ 1. Passengers originating from United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa: For flights and passengers originating from United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa with final destination being Nigeria the following shall apply”
- Passengers must present the following two documents in order to be allowed to board their flights to Nigeria: (a) Pre-departure permitto fly/ QR code generated from the Nigeria International travel portal (https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) showing evidence of payment for the post arrival day 7 COVID-19 PCR test and (b) Documentary evidence of a Negative COVID-19 PCR result done within 96 hours(4days) of boarding from verifiable laboratory or health facility.
- On arrival in Nigeria, passengers will be received and processed separately by public health authorities
- All passengers will be required to self isolate for 7 days after arrival followed by COVID-19 PCR test
- Passengers with a post arrival Negative COVID-19 PCR result can exit self isolation and further management]
- A dedicated register of arriving passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa will be opened and enhanced for surveillance and active enforcement of these protocols.
According to the NCAA, the rules apply to all airlines with passengers originating from the United Kingdom and South Africa regardless of transit arrangements. The CAA also said the new rules are applicable to scheduled and non scheduled flights from the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The NCAA further clarified that the earlier quarantine protocol which became effective from 18th September 2020 shall continue to subsist for flights originating from other countries except for the validity of the Pre-departure PCR test result which will now be 96 hours from date of departure.
On non-compliance, the NCAA stated categorically,” Punitive measures shall be taken against airlines who fail to comply with this All Operators Letters. The punitive measures shall include but not limited to the following:
“(i) Airlines shall be fines $3,500 (Three thousand five hundred dollars) for each defaulting passenger. (ii)Airlines may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation. (iii) Repeated non-compliance by any airline will lead to the suspension of the airline’s approval/permit to fly into the country.”