The Federal Government through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has extended the ban on flights from Brazil, Turkey and India by four weeks.
In May 2021, the PSC banned incoming flights from Brazil, India and Turkey, noting that anyone who has been in these three countries within 14 days of their intended arrival date in Nigeria will be banned from entering the country.
Speaking at the national briefing yesterday, the chairman, PSC on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said “A few weeks ago, we announced additional measures to be met by passengers arriving from Brazil, Turkey and India. This action was due to the prevalence of variants of concern and the dangers associated with the importation of such virulent strain.
“The PSC has been reviewing these restrictions and is of the opinion that they should remain for another four weeks before it is further reviewed. South Africa, has, however, been added to this category once more.”
The PSC also said South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda are being monitored as the COVID-19 cases are increasing there.
“In addition to these three countries, the PSC has also shifted its focus on some African countries. South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda fall in this category. South Africa for example, recorded over 100, 000 cases in the last one week while 20,000 were recorded in the last 24 hours.”
“The four major variants of concern are now classified as Alpha (UK), Beta (SA); Gamma (Brazil) and Delta (India). The Delta variant which has wreaked devastating havoc is not yet found in Nigeria hence the need to tighten our borders and be more vigilant,” the SGF said.
On the ban of passengers who violated the COVID-19 protocols on arrival, the PSC said “About six months ago, following the violation of protocols by some inbound passengers to Nigeria, travel documents were barred for a period of six months.
“We have received several appeals from those affected while we counselled on the importance of compliance with rules and regulations. The six-month period of ban for the first batch of 100 is almost complete and we use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that sanctions will be imposed on violators of measures put in place to protect them and safeguard our nation.”