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NCAA to Airlines: Flout COVID-19 protection guidelines, pay $3,500 fine per passenger

*NCAA discloses that flights may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation, as repeated non-compliance by any airlines will lead to a suspension of the airlines’ approval or permit to fly into Nigeria

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In order to ensure effective management and control of spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will fine airlines $3,500 for each passenger effective from Monday, December 28, 2020, for non-compliance with Federal Government’s protocols concerning international flights from the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa (SA).

ConsumerConnect learnt such flights may also be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation as the regulator says that repeated non-compliance by any airline will lead to a suspension of the airlines’ approval or permit to fly into the country.

The NCAA had issued an All Operators Letter (AOL) Saturday, December 26, 2020, and addressed to Country and Accountable Managers of all domestic and foreign airlines flying into the country.

Air travellers on board

According to the aviation regulator, 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 test result done within 96 hours of boarding.

The agency stated the Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has reviewed the quarantine protocols to include that passengers originating from both the UK and SA would be received and processed separately by public health authorities.

All the new travel rules would be applicable to both scheduled and non-scheduled passengers from both countries, noted the NCAA.

Captain Musa Nuhu, Director General of NCAA, in the AOL said: “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.

“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: Pre-departure permitto fly/QR code generated from the Nigeria International travel portal showing evidence of payment for the post arrival day seven COVID-19 PCR test and (b) Documentary evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR result done within 96 hours (four days) of boarding from verifiable laboratory or health facility.”

The letter further noted that “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.”

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