Nigeria set to scrap PCR COVID-19 tests for vaccinated travelers

Health workers wait to takes a swab from a man during a community COVID-19 coronavirus testing campaign in Lagos on April 18, 2020. The Lagos government commence community testing and search, sample collections of eligible cases as they struggle to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as cases rise in Nigeria amidst lockdown. (Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Health workers wait to take a swab from a man during a community COVID-19 coronavirus testing campaign in Lagos on April 18, 2020. (Photo via Getty Images)

Nigeria is set to scrap the mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests for fully-vaccinated travelers departing the country to any part of the world.

The PCR test will no longer be required to take the pre-departure COVID-19 tests from April 4, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Government of the Federation, told reporters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, Monday.

“On arrival, for fully vaccinated passengers, a sample will be taken at the airport for rapid antigen test within the arrival hall of the airport,” said Mustapha, who heads the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.

He said passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure, or do a day-two and day-seven test on arrival. Such passengers will be expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform.

Mustapha said the government took the decision to revise the international travel protocol after reviewing the situations around the world.

According to Mustapha, there had been a consistent decline in the number of COVID-19 cases around the world but that, however, should not be a reason to completely relax the protocol.

Mustapha added that the rules that apply to fully-vaccinated adults also apply to children aged 10 to 18 years, as they will not be required to have taken pre-arrival PCR tests but will have a sample taken at the arrival hall but not charged.