The Federal Government has announced that any passenger who fails to comply with the COVID-19 protocol for international travels will be suspended from travelling for six months.

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The PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, while said giving an update during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force, revealed that there would be sanctions for non-compliance with the guidelines on the part of the airlines and the passengers.

Aliyu said, “There will definitely be sanctions if they do not comply. Sanctions to the airlines if they allow passengers without a COVID-19 PCR result to board, they will be sanctioned on arrival in Nigeria.

That is the airline. For passengers that decline to do the test, at Day 7, we will still allow them after Day 14 to have a test done after which their details will be forwarded to Port Health, Immigration, and part of the security services.

“It is very likely we will put in place measures to enforce this by suspending travel up to six months or deny foreign travels altogether.

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“But beyond the sanctions, because as responsible citizens, we all want our country to continue to be COVID-19-free once we get on top of the pandemic, so, we expect the vast number of travellers to continue to comply with these simple, straightforward measures we are putting in place for the benefit of our country and for the health of our citizens.”

Aliyu had also warned that airlines that fail to comply with the COVID-19 protocol for the resumption of international flights would pay a fine of $3,500 per passenger.

The country’s airspace and airports were earlier shut to flight operations to curb the spread of the lethal coronavirus disease.

The FG recently approved the restart of domestic flights from September 5, stating that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, would first be reopened for international flights.