BY JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH, Abuja
The federal government has placed travel restrictions on 100 passengers for non-compliance with mandatory protocols on tests upon arrival in the country as outlined by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The chairman of the PTF on COVID-19 and secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, disclosed this in a notice to the affected passengers yesterday.
The move came as the country battles the second wave of the virus which has caused a spike in cases across the country.
As of Friday, Nigeria had a total of 88,587 confirmed cases with 74,373 discharged and 1,294 deaths.
The notice explained that the 100 defaulters would be restricted for six months for failure to comply with the mandatory day seven post- arrival COVID-19 polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test and that the six months restriction which took effect from January 1, 2021 to last till June 30, 2021.
According to the notice, the defaulting passengers have been informed of the development and will be prevented from travelling out of the country during the period.
The passport numbers of the affected persons were displayed on the notice.
It would be recalled that the government had last Tuesday announced that the details of the passports of the first 100 passengers who failed to undergo COVID-19 testing after returning to the country would be revealed publicly and the passports would also be suspended until June next year, local media reported.
“With effect from 1st January 2021, the passports of the first 100 passengers that failed to take their day seven post-arrival PCR test will be published in the national dailies,” he said.
LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that the PTF had repeatedly expressed concerns about the default rate of inbound travellers not presenting for the mandatory COVID-19 test on day seven in Nigeria.
Prior to resumption of international flights and the lifting of international travel restriction by the federal government in line with the ease of COVID-19 lockdown, the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID19, Nigeria Centres for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) developed and disseminated international travel guidelines as part of the continued effort to contain the spread of the disease.
The international travel guidelines outlined very specific and clear protocols and guidelines for inbound and outbound flights and passengers, in line with infection prevention measures, including a provisional seven-day self-quarantine protocol for all returning travellers to Nigeria, which became effective on September 5, 2020.
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