For international air travellers from the United Kingdom and South Africa, fresh hurdles now await them in Nigeria as the Federal Government’s preventive measures against new strain of COVID-19 take effect today.
By the new protocol, all inbound passengers are mandated to seek and get travel permit from Nigeria before boarding flights coming into the country.
To enforce the protocol more than ever before, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will fine airlines $3,500 for each passenger and may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to the point of embarkation for non-compliance.
While several countries placed a ban on UK travellers over COVID-19 new strain recently detected, the British government has also banned travellers to the country from South Africa, having linked the new variant to the African country.
Nigeria readily has connections with the two countries. While British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic (VA) operate daily flights in and out of Nigeria, indigenous carrier, Air Peace airlines, now operate twice-weekly flights on Lagos-Johannesburg-Lagos route. The two channels have become a source of worry for the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.