The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued new guidelines for airlines and passengers coming into Nigeria from the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The NCAA’s decision is part of efforts to curb the spread of the new strain of COVID-19 recorded in the two countries.
The fresh guidelines were contained in a circular issued on Saturday and signed by Musa Nuhu, the director-general of the NCAA.
According to the circular, passengers who do not comply with the new protocols may be deported.
Nuhu said all airlines operating between Nigeria and the two countries must ensure that passengers comply with the new directives.
He stated that all passengers are to present a pre-departure permit to fly, and evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test done within 96 hours in order to be allowed to fly into Nigeria.
“On arrival in Nigeria, passengers will be received and processed separately by Public Health authorities,” the circular reads.
“All passengers will be required to self-isolate for 7 days after arrival followed by a Covid-19 PCR test.
“Passengers with a post-arrival negative Covid-19 PCR result can exit isolation at day 8. Those with a positive Covid-19 PCR result will be referred for isolation and further management.
“A dedicated register of arriving passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa will be opened for enhanced surveillance and active enforcement of the protocol.”
The NCAA boss warned that there would be sanctions against airlines that failed to comply.
“Airlines shall be fined $3,500 (Three Thousand Five dollars) for each defaulting passenger,” he said.
“Airlines may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation. Repeated non-compliance by any airline will lead to the suspension of the airline’s approval/permit to fly into the country.”
Some countries including Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands have banned flights from the UK over concerns on the new strain of COVID-19.