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Nigeria scraps COVID-19 test for travelers

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says wearing of face masks by passengers onboard aircraft or inside airport terminal buildings is no longer mandatory.

In its revised COVID-19 Public Health Guideline, which was signed by its Director-General, Captain Musa Nuhu, the NCAA said the use of face masks “is now discretionary but recommended”.

The guidelines have been made available to all service providers, both domestic and international.

Explaining the guidelines as provided by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Captain Nuhu said for domestic passengers, “persons aged 60 years and above, immunocompromised, and those with co-morbidities are advised to use facemasks, wash their hands with water and soap, use hand alcohol-based sanitisers and avoid large gatherings”.

Also, the disinfection of bags at the entrance of terminal buildings and maintenance of social distancing at airport terminal buildings is no longer required, according to the guidelines.

In addition, airlines can now resume serving meals and drinks onboard aircraft while the use of alcohol-based sanitisers by passengers and airport workers is recommended.

For International passengers, pre-departure and post-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests are no longer required for all passengers, irrespective of vaccination status. PCR tests required for all passengers who are partially or not fully vaccinated have also been suspended.

Similarly, health declaration forms and permission to travel/QR code are no longer required but a simplified health questionnaire form (non-COVID-19 specific) shall be completed by all passengers travelling to Nigeria, preferably pre-departure on the Nigerian International Travel Portal (NITP).

According to Captain Nuhu, the guideline “shall be effective immediately”, warning that failure by any aviation service provider to comply shall attract “appropriate sanction”.

Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Fany Olumoye and Tony Okerafor

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