The Federal Government has placed 100 international passengers on six months’ travel restriction for flouting the mandatory seven-day post-arrival COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

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The restriction came barely five days after the Federal Government’s announcement on the planned action against the defaulters.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced this in a memo titled ‘Travel restriction,’ released by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Friday night.

According to him, the six months’ travel restriction, which took effect on January 1, 2021, was “based on presidential authority.”

He said, “Defaulting passengers have been notified and will be prevented from travelling out of the country during this period.”

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Mustapha had, on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, said with effect from January 1, 2021, the passports of the first 100 passengers who had failed to take their day-seven post-arrival PCR test would be published in national newspapers.

He also noted that the PTF had worked out additional quarantine protocols to be observed by travellers arriving from the UK and South Africa, in keeping with government determination to minimise any possibility of importation of the virus.

He said, “The new policy started from Monday, December 28, 2020. Key changes include requirement for passengers for two additional documents, permit to travel/QR code obtained from the travel portal after payment for the day-seven post-arrival test; and COVID-19 PCR negative test with a validity now shortened to 96 hours or four days.

“The PTF shall remain vigilant on this matter and our relevant agencies are also working on the sequencing to determine the strain found.”