The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 on Tuesday insisted that travelers into Nigeria must self isolate for seven days after arriving the country.
The PTF also threatened to sanction travellers who refused to present themselves for a mandatory in-country Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, explained that violators would be sanctioned including the suspension of passports of such defaulting individuals for a period of six months minimum or outright visa cancellation.
Mr. Mustapha also urged them to stay in self-isolation for seven days on arrival in Nigeria and take another COVID-19 PCR test on day seven.
Mustapha raised alarm over failure of some Nigerians who arrived from abroad to present themselves for the in-country PCR test which they signed up to and paid before arrival.
“It has, therefore, resolved to revoke passports of travellers that fail to conduct the mandatory COVID-19 PCR test,” he said.
According to the SGF, only one out of three Nigerians who arrived has complied.
Recall that on Sept. 18, the Federal Government had announced that it required a negative COVID-19 PCR test within five days (120 hours) before departure.
“The PTF had also in September said while Nigerians will get six- month passport suspension, foreigners face outright visa cancellation.
“The PTF had said Nigeria placed travel bans as part of the global lockdown measures to contain the spread of the pandemic in March 2020.
It had stressed that it was mandatory that travellers have the PCR test done on day 7th upon arrival.
“It had also said all returning travelers to Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID-19 through PCR testing in the country of departure. The PCR test must now be administered no more than 120 hours before departure.
“Nigeria resumed International flights on the 5th of September and the update followed the announcement by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA,) that the maximum number of passengers of each incoming international flight must be 200 passengers.
Mustapha said that the PTF was highlighting these issues repeatedly because they remained at risk of importation, having opened the airspace and massive spread as a result of the protests.
“The next week or two remain critical. The PTF has noted with sadness the failure of Nigerians who arrived from abroad to present themselves for the in-country PCR test which they signed up to and paid before arrival.
Statistics emerging from our records show that only one out of three passengers have shown up for the in-country test.
“As you may recall, the PTF announced the guidelines on the reopening of the airspace and the obligations of arriving passengers.