By Abba Gwale

Federal Government has barred travellers from Brazil, Turkey and India as a result of rising cases of COVID-19 in those countries.

The Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

He said the ban will take effect from Tuesday, 4th May 2021, shall be subjected to review after an initial period of four weeks.

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

This regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.

He added that, “The following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers who fail to comply with I and II(a) above: airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger. Non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the airline.

Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to undergo seven days of mandatory quarantine in a government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger.”

Boss said, “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 their quarantine.”

The statement further disclosed that passengers arriving in Nigeria from other countries must go into self-isolation for seven-day at their final destination.

“They must carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory and shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities,” he continued.

However, he said, “Passenger who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution.

Also, persons who willfully disregard or refuse to comply with directions of Port-Health staff, security agencies or evade quarantine shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

State governments are required to ensure that all returning travelers from all countries are monitored to ensure adherence to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival.

We urge members of the public to adhere to all COVID-19 preventive measures in place including adherence to the national travel protocol, proper use of face mask, regular handwashing and physical distancing,” the statement read.

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