The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a circular to all foreign airlines operating into Nigeria not to henceforth deny Nigerian travelers boarding for their inability to show evidence of payment for the day-7 COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code. The challenges surrounding the generation of the PCR code after payment of the statutory fees had led many travelers from Nigeria and into Nigeria to be denied boarding by foreign airlines.

Director-General of the NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, attributed the circular to the challenges confronting some Nigerian travelers while trying to fill their health and travel history into Nigeria’s International Travel portal (NITP).

The circular dated September 11, 2021, entitled, “Permission for airlines to board passengers travelling to Nigeria who are unable to show evidence of payment for day seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code/permit to fly”, and signed by the NCAA DG, declared that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had been informed of challenges some Nigerian travelers face while filling the health and travel history into the NITP.

With the circular, airlines are now mandated to board any traveler to Nigeria who finds it difficult to either pay for the repeat day-7 COVID-19 PCR test or generate the paid QR code/permit to fly.

The NCAA DG explained that such passengers now have the option of making payment for the repeat day-7 COVID-19 PCR test at the destination airport in Nigeria.

The circular partly stated: “Holders of diplomatic passports and children aged 10 years and below who are unable to complete the NIPT are to be allowed to board the flight. Their health declaration and travel history will be captured by the Port Health Services (PHS) at the destination airport.

“Airlines are to bring this information to the knowledge of their passengers and ensure strict compliance with the above-stated condition.”

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had earlier disclosed that it was working with other ministries and agencies through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to address challenges faced by travellers to Nigeria. NCDC identified the travellers as those using the NITP.

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