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FG to fine airlines over breach of new COVID-19 protocols

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it would apply a fine of $3,500 on airlines for every passenger violating the new protocols on inbound flights from the United Kingdom and South Africa beginning from Monday 28th December.

The decision followed a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus in the two countries.

In a letter issued to all airlines signed by Musa Nuhu, the NCAA Director-General, the NCAA ordered passengers flying from the UK and South Africa submit a pre-departure permit to fly/QR code generated from Nigeria international travel portal and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 96 hours of boarding.

“On arrival in Nigeria, passengers will be received and processed separately by public health authorities. All passengers will be required to self-isolate for seven days after arrival followed by a COVID-19 PCR test,” the NCAA boss said.

Nuhu stated that any airline breaching the new rules would have its permit or approval to run flight operations in the country suspended.

He observed that the Presidential Task Force on COVD-19 reviewed the quarantine protocols to ensure that passengers coming from the UK and South Africa are received separately by public health authorities.

The NCAA noted that the new protocols would be applicable to scheduled and non-scheduled passengers from the two countries beginning from Monday 28th December.

“On arrival in Nigeria, passengers will be received and processed separately by public health authorities. All passengers will be required to self-isolate for seven 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,” the NCAA said.