COVID-19: Airlines risk $3, 500 fine, prosecution, as FG bars travellers from India, Turkey, Brazil

Nigeria may have taken proactive measure to bar passengers from India, Turkey and Brazil into Nigeria starting from May 4, 2021 owing to the rise in COVID-19 cases that are ravaging the countries..

However, the ban does not affect those who only transited through the countries as they would not be denied entry into Nigeria.

To show its seriousness of giving effects to its words,  it any airline that fails to comply shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger.

These are parts of the decisions by the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 Chaired by Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the government of the Federation.

Mustapha in a press release lists other decisions taken after a risk assessment embarked on by the committee.

According to him, reduction of the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers is now from 96hrs to 72 hours, stressing that henceforth PCR test results older than 72hours before departure shall not be accepted.

Non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline.

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Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit shall undergo seven (7) days of mandatory quarantine in a Government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger. The following condition shall apply to such passengers:i. Within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR testii. If positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with National treatment protocols.iii. If Negative, the Passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.(iii) Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinationsa must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination.b. Carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory.c. Shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.


President Muhammadu Buhari and Secretary to the Government, Mr. Boss Mustapha

He warned that passenger(s) who provide false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution, stressing that person(s) who willfully disregard or refuse to comply with directions of Port-Health staff, security agencies or evade quarantine shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

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State Governments are required to ensure that all returning travelers from all countries are monitored to ensure adherence to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival.

“We urge members of the public to adhere to all COVID-19 preventive measures in place including adherence to the national travel protocol, proper use of face mask, regular handwashing and physical distancing”.

Mustapha explained that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had over the last few weeks been monitoring with concern, the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries, with additional focus on countries with high incidence, fatality rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

His words, “The Government of Nigeria deeply empathizes with the citizens and governments of these countries, and assures them of our commitment, unflinching support and solidarity at this time of need”.


“In our effort to continue to safeguard the health of the Nigerian population, as well as to minimize the risk of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee carried out a risk assessment of countries with high incidence of cases. The risk assessment took into consideration the epidemiology of cases, prevalence of variants of concern and average passenger volume between Nigeria and each country amongst other indicators. Of the countries assessed, this interim travel advisory applies to three (3) countries in the first instance. These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue”.

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“Nigerians are strongly advised to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths”.

Wole Shadare