The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has released the revised Quarantine Protocol ahead of the August 29th 2020 date announced for the resumption of international flights.

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The revised quarantine protocol for arriving international passengers to Nigeria states that they must have tested negative for COVID-19 twice within two (2) weeks pre-boarding PCR test in country of departure stressing that any test before two weeks is unacceptable.

A document obtained emanating from the Nigeria High Commission sensitizing travellers of the development read:

“The Nigeria High Commission wishes to bring to the attention of the general public that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has issued the following Revised Quarantine Protocols for persons arriving Nigeria from abroad (Including returnees and stranded Nigerians).

The notifications on pre-departure and on arrival in Nigeria were specific on what needs to be done at every instance stating:

  • “A passenger arriving/returning to Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID-19(pre-boarding PCR test in the country of departure).
  • PCR test must be 2 weeks before departure preferably no less than 5 days pre-boarding. Tests done more than two weeks before departure are not valid and persons will not be allowed o board; but for the 5 days minimum, it is advisory and will not preclude boarding.
  • “Onboard passengers are required to fill in the health declaration/self-reporting form and the Sample Collection Time Allocation Form. Passengers should ensure that the information/contact details provided on the form are correct and are verifiable and they can be reached on the phone numbers and addresses provided.”

On arrival in Nigeria, the notification stated that passengers must queue in an orderly manner and disembarkation will be done systematically and in batches to avoid overcrowding.

The passengers will proceed for health screening at the Point of Entry after which Health declaration/self-reporting form and the Sample Collection Time Allocation Form will be accessed and collected.

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The document also advised that passengers are requested to

  1. Keep their face masks on.
  2. Perform hand hygiene.
  3. Ensure respiratory/cough etiquette; cough into a tissue, sleeve/ bent elbow and discard used tissue safely into a bin.
  4. Always observe and maintain physical distancing measures.

“Persons who have arrived in Nigeria are advised to self-isolate for 14 days and to remain in the City/ State where the Point of Entry is located (i.e. Lagos or Abuja) throughout the duration of self-quarantine.

“If not resident in Lagos or Abuja, passengers shall make arrangements for accommodation at their own cost (please note that the Federal Government will not be responsible for providing accommodation nor transportation to the place of abode).

“Passengers will be cleared through the Nigeria Immigration System’s Migrants Identification Data Analysis System (MIDAS) and their passports retained until after successful completion of the 14 days self-quarantine.

They will be given an appointment time and date to present at the Sample Collection Centre located in Lagos or Abuja for a repeat COVID- 19 PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.

“Passengers must provide their full and correct address and phone number before exiting the airport. They must comply with self-isolation/quarantine guidelines and ensure that they can be reached/can be located during the period.

“Persons who are unable to remain in Lagos or Abuja throughout the period of self-quarantine may return to their States of residence only after: They have had their samples collected and are negative for COVID-19 and provided Public Health Officials with their full and correct address and phone number where they can be reached.

“Persons who have completed the 14 days of self-isolation/quarantine will undergo an exit interview.

“Their details will be forwarded to the Nigeria Immigration Service for release of their passports. Alternative arrangements can be made to collect passports via Special delivery e.g. DHL.”