COVID-19: Nigeria to revoke Visa of foreigners, suspend passports of 100 travelers for defaulting guidelines
The presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said it will revoke visas of foreigners, suspend passports of citizens who failed to undergo the mandatory COVID-19 test after returning to the country and promised to publish the passport numbers of 100 travelers who have refused to undergo the mandatory COVID-19 test.
The PTF national coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said travelers are mandated to run the test seven days after their arrival during an announcement in its daily press briefing in Abuja Thursday December 24.
“From now on, particularly for those coming from the UK and South Africa, we will pay special attention to these flights. If you do not do your day seven test, by day 10, you will automatically go onto the suspension list and your travel documents, your passport would be suspended for a minimum period of six months.
“If you carry a foreign passport, with a visa, we will revoke your visa. And because we are able to track a smaller group of persons than a large number of persons, which has always been the challenge we have, we are now able to enforce this, specifically for passengers coming from these routes until further notice.
“In addition to that, over this weekend, we will publish the first list of 100 passport numbers – Nigerian passport numbers – that will be suspended for six months. We’ve already contacted these passengers and we’ve confirmed that they have not had a COVID-19 PCR test. We will not be publishing names, but we will publish the passport numbers.”
Aliyu also said a special register would be opened at the airports for passengers from UK and South Africa, specifically to track and ensure they present for COVID test on day seven.
“We continue to be concerned about the emergence of the new variant coronavirus in the UK and additional mutate that was described coming from South Africa,” he said.
“The system for travels in terms of ensuring the safety of our citizens and preventing the importation of cases in the country is one of the most strict. We are one of the few countries that do double testing, that have a travel portal where you can go in and enter your details including your health questionnaire and pay for a test.
“Specifically, for the UK and South Africa, the PTF has met and we have decided that additional measures would be required to ensure the safety of our citizens. When you are leaving the UK or South Africa, you need two documents that you have to present to the airlines.
“The first document is a negative COVID-19 PCR result, second is a permit to travel document, which we use to refer to as the QR code. The only way you can get the permit to travel on the travel portal is by filling in your health questionnaire electronically, uploading your PCR result and paying for the day seven test.
“If you do not present a permit travel or you cannot present a travel permit, the airlines are being directed not to board. So if you are coming into Nigeria from the UK and South Africa, it is in your best interest to familiarise yourself with the Nigerian International Travel Portal and make sure that you put in your health details, upload your PCR result that has to be negative and you pay for a day seven test upon arrival in Nigeria.
“The second enforcement that we will have has to do with the seven day self-isolation upon arrival in the country. We had a lot of debates as to if we should institute mandatory quarantine when the people arrive. We have decided that when you arrive, we will open a special register for all passengers arriving from these two countries. We will have an enhanced surveillance where these passengers will be contacted after they have arrived home, we will be checking on them to see if they are having any symptoms. But more importantly, we expect these passengers by day seven to unfailing go for your COVID PCR test which you must have before boarding the aircraft.
“Penalties, we have already mentioned right from September when we opened up International airspace that there will be penalties for not abiding by the protocols. Mr. President on Tuesday approved that from now on particularly for those coming from the UK and South Africa, we will pay special attention to these flights”.
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