By Chinelo Obogo
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a circular to all foreign airlines operating in and out of Nigeria not to deny Nigerian passengers boarding if they are unable to show evidence of payment for the Day-7 COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code.
This comes after many passengers had expressed frustration in accessing the COVID-19 portal, the costs of the test on arrival, and others.
In a letter to all foreign airlines, the Director-General of the NCAA, Musa Nuhu, said the decision was taken due to the challenges that some Nigerian travelers face while trying to fill their Health and Travel history into the Nigerian International Travel portal (NITP). The letter entitled, “Permission for Airlines to board passengers traveling to Nigeria who are unable to show evidence of payment for day seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code/permit to fly”, signed by Nuhu, stated the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has been made aware of difficulties some Nigerian travelers experience while trying to fill their health and travel history into the NITP.
By the letter, airlines are mandated to board any traveler to Nigeria who is unable to either pay for the repeat day-7 COVID-19 PCR test or generate the paid QR code/permit to fly.
Nuhu added that such passengers would be required to make payment for the repeat day-7 COVID-19 PCR test at their destination airport in Nigeria.
“Holders of diplomatic passports and children aged 10 years and below who are unable to complete the NIPT are to be allowed to board the flight. Their health declaration and travel history will be captured by the Port Health Services (PHS) at the destination airport.
“Airlines are to bring this information to the knowledge of their passengers and ensure strict compliance with the above-stated condition, “ he added. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recently disclosed that it is working with other Ministries and Agencies through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to address challenges faced by travelers to Nigeria.
The NCDC identified the travelers as those using the Nigerian International Travel Portal. The measures included – “All travelers arriving in Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR in the county of departure pre-boarding. The PCR test must be done within 96 hours before departure and preferably within 72 hours.
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