Nigeria suspends passports of 100 passengers who violated COVID-19 rules

A security official screening a man during an evacuation of EU (European Union) citizens members includes Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Ireland, among others, as the Federal Government had restricted flights from some of these countries identified as high-risk C9OVID-19 places before finally shutting all international airports in the country, in Lagos, Nigeria April 9, 2020. Following the Nigerian government approval the states lockdown was imposed, to contain the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, by Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari to cushion the effect of a two-week lockdown.

The Nigerian government announced the suspension of 100 passports of passengers who failed to comply with a mandatory COVID-19 test following the seventh day of their arrival.

A notice from the government imposed a six-month suspension on their passports with effect from January 1 to June 30.

FILE PHOTO: A security official screening a man during an evacuation of EU (European Union) citizens in Lagos, Nigeria. (Getty Images)

The notice added that the offending passengers, whose nationalities were not identified, were duly notified of the government’s action.

“Defaulting passengers have been notified and will not be allowed to travel using these passports during this period,” the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force (PTF) said.

In late December, Nigeria imposed tougher measures for passengers traveling into the country, particularly from the UK and South Africa, in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases locally and the detection of new COVID-19 variants in those countries.

Passengers from the two countries are to be received and processed separately by public health authorities upon arrival in Nigeria. Additionally, all such passengers are required to self-isolate for seven days after arrival after which they will have to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test.

Passengers who will test positive for COVID-19 thereafter will be referred for isolation and further management while those who test negative will be allowed to leave isolation.

Nigeria has reported more than 90,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1,300 related deaths, according to data from the World Health Organization.