FG releases passport details of 100 Covid-19 test defaulters, places 6-month travel ban on culprits

Federal Government has made do its promise to publish a list of passengers who have defaulted in submitting themselves to mandatory Covid-19 test in line with the new entry requirement for inbound travellers from certain countries with detected presence of the new variant of the virus.

Muritala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos Departure Terminal

The travellers reportedly failed to undergo the mandatory Covid-19 test after their return to Nigeria placing travel restrictions on them from January 1 to June 30, 2020.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) released the Passport Numbers of 100 defaulting inbound travellers, Saturday, as it also slammed a six-month travel ban on them.

“Based on Presidential authority, travel restrictions are placed on the following passports due to non-compliance to the mandatory Day 7 post-arrival COVID-19 test”, the communiqué read.

It said the restrictions started from January 1, 2021, and would last till June 30, 2021.

The PTF also confirmed that the affected passengers have been notified and will be prevented from going out of the country during the period.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had earlier in the week said the affected travellers would be published before the end of the week.

It would be recalled that penultimate Thursday, Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 (PTF), during its briefing in Abuja, informed that inbound United Kingdom, South African travellers would now be required to submit themselves to these fresh regulations in addition to others already in place since the country resumed international flight operations in September.

This was an option taken by the PTF as against a total ban on flights from these two countries with reported and confirmed cases of the new Covid-19 variant.

National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, who reeled out the requirements at the PTF briefing said violation would attract heavy penalties for the travelers.

“There are new traveling requirements for people traveling from the UK and South Africa effective from 0001 hours on Monday, December 28, 2020.

“It is the responsibility of those passengers to make sure they familiarise themselves with these new rules, and airlines will be informed accordingly.

“We will open a special register at the airport for all passengers arriving from these two countries.

“We will have an enhanced surveillance so that these passengers will be contacted after they have arrived home.

“We will be checking on them to see if they are having symptoms. But even more importantly by Day 7, we expect these passengers just like any other passengers coming from outside the country to unfailingly go for COVID PCR test which you must have paid for before boarding the aircraft.”

Before now, international passengers were generally required to visit the Nigerian international travel portal to upload their negative COVID PCR result, generate a Permit to Travel document, also referred to as the QR Code, and also pay for the second PCR COVID test that would be conducted on them by their seventh day of arrival in the country.

According to Aliyu, penalties including passport or visa suspension for at least six months would be imposed on violators, adding further that the passport numbers of the first 100 violators of international travel protocols would be published by the weekend.

“If you do not do your Day 7 test by Day 10, you will automatically go on to the suspension list and your travel documents, your passport will be suspended for a minimum period of six months.

“If you carry a foreign passport with a visa, we will revoke your visa. And because it is easier to track a smaller group of persons than a large number of passengers which has always been the challenge that we have, we are now able to enforce this specifically for passengers coming from these routes until further notice,” Aliyu said.

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