Nigeria Bans Visitors from Brazil, India, Turkey as COVID-19 Spikes

A Port Health Service staff member stands next to a thermal scanner as passengers arrive at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 27, 2019. – The Port Health Services Unit of the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria has been placed on alert and has heightened screening measures at the points of entry to screen travellers arriving the country. The Nigeria Immigration Service and Port Health Services have expressed fears over the outbreak of Coronavirus in China. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a ban on entry to non-Nigerian travellers who have visited Brazil, India, or Turkey in the last two weeks.

The Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha disclosed this.

The decision follows increasing cases of COVID-19 and fatalities in some parts of the world.

The travel advisory will take effect from Tuesday while it shall be subjected to review after an initial period of four weeks but does not apply to passengers who have transited through those countries.

These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries.

Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who have visited Brazil, India or Turkey within days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria.

While airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger, this regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.

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On the other hand, Nigerians and permanent residents who have been in those countries in the last 14 days will undergo mandatory quarantine for a week in a government-approved facility on arrival.

All passengers arriving in Nigeria will now have to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel rather than the previous 96 hours period.

The SGF added, that the following conditions shall apply to such passengers:

“Within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test.”

“If positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with national treatment protocols.

“If negative, the passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of quarantine.

According to the guidelines, passengers arriving in Nigeria from other destinations must observe a seven-day self-isolation at their final destination.

They are also required to carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at the selected laboratory and shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.

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Nigeria has reported just over 165,000 cases of the coronavirus and 2,063 deaths since the virus first emerged in China at the end of 2019.

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