COVID-19: FG cancels pre-departure PCR test for fully vaccinated in-bound passengers

edebd boss mustapha
edebd boss mustapha

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Federal Government has announced the revised International Travel Protocols of the COVID-19 pandemic protocol, effective on Monday, April 4 one of which is that in-bound (fully vaccinated) passengers arriving in Nigeria will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 Test.

The Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure Monday night at the national press briefing.

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The briefing focused on updates on some key developments ranging from the review of the international travel protocols, update on the country’s vaccination status, and the evacuation of Nigerians from Ukraine.

Others include: ‘On arrival, for fully vaccinated passengers, a sample will be taken at the airport for rapid antigen test by the NCDC within the arrival hall of the airport;

‘Passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure, or do a Day 2 and day 7 test on arrival. Such passengers will be expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform;

‘Fully vaccinated passengers will not be charged for arrival rapid antigen tests at the airport;

‘Rules that apply to fully vaccinated adults also apply to children aged 10 – 18 years; they will not be required to have pre-arrival PCR tests but will have a sample taken at the arrival hall but not charged;

‘All passengers travelling out of Nigeria are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to fully comply with COVID-19 protocols and requirements in their country of destination.

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‘The PSC continues to strongly recommend the use of face masks in enclosed environments. In open-spaced, the use of face masks is discretional.’

Mustapha said the out of about 2,357 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine screened for COVID-19, out of the over 8,000 residents or students living in Ukraine,193 tested positive to COVID-19 and are being managed according to the country’s protocols.

The PSC also warned Nigerians to be mindful of scammers, especially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, who come to assist them in accessing the Nigeria International Testing Portal (NITP) and in the process, register them as children to avoid paying post-arrival test.

The PSC also put Nigerians on notice that two major religious festivities (Easter and Sallah) are approaching and they will be increased passenger traffic in and out of the country.

“While the PSC prepares to escalate surveillance and other control activities, we urge the States and all Nigerians to also increase their vigilance and take measures to moderate activities.

Mustapha said Nigeria has so far recorded 255,103 cases while 3,142 persons have died as a result of COVID-19.

‘We have vaccinated over 20 million persons with at least the first dose. This number is not very encouraging, hence, the need for all eligible Nigerians to come out and be vaccinated,’ he stated

He said over 11 million Nigerians have been fully vaccinated while over 700,000 have received the booster shot.

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