President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration, on Friday in its plan to lift the ban on flights, revealed what will happen to citizens or foreigners coming into Nigeria.
The Federal Government noted that anyone coming into the country will be required to leave their passports with the Nigeria Immigration Service for two weeks pending the verification of their COVID-19 status.
The plan was revealed in a circular released by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to all diplomatic, consular and international organisations accredited to Nigeria.
In the circular dated June 10, 2020, with reference number BW/20/CIR.LET/III/2020, the government said the only category of persons that would be exempted from this new rule are those who possess a diplomatic passport.
It read in part, “Persons who have arrived in Nigeria are advised to self-isolate for 14 days and to remain in the city/state where the point of entry is located (i.e Lagos or Abuja) throughout the duration of self-quarantine.”
“If not resident in Lagos, passengers shall make arrangements for accommodation at their own cost. Please note that the Federal Government will not be responsible for providing accommodation or transportation to the place of abode.”
“Passengers will be cleared through the Nigeria Immigration Service System’s Migrant Identification and Data Analysis System and their passports retained until after successful completion of 14 days self-quarantine except diplomatic passport holders.”
The Ministry added after all the guidelines have been followed, the NIS would be instructed to release the passports to their owners.
According to the circular, alternative arrangements could be made to collect passports via special delivery.
The government said persons who are unable to remain in Lagos or Abuja throughout the period of self-quarantine may return to their states of residence only after their samples have been collected and have tested negative for Covid-19.
Such persons must also make their full contact details available and passengers would be given forms to fill which must include travel and health history.
The circular further states, “Passengers arriving/returning to Nigeria must have tested negative for Covid-19 (pre-boarding PCR test in country of departure). PCR test must be within two weeks before departure and preferably not less than five days pre-boarding.”
“Tests done more than two weeks before departure are not valid and persons will not be allowed to board; but for the five days minimum, this advisory will not preclude boarding.”
“Onboard, passengers are required to fill in the health declaration/self-reporting form and the sample collection time allocation form.”