This provisional quarantine protocol is specific to passengers departing from the United Kingdom and Republic of South Africa and has been issued in response to the emergence of the new variant SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus strain. It is an update to the earlier released quarantine protocol of 18th September, 2020. Prior to boarding for Nigeria, passengers departing from the United Kingdom and Republic of South Africa MUST present TWO documents at their point of departure to be allowed to board;
a) A negative COVID-19 PCR test administered within 4 days (96 hours) of departure. Airlines have been directed not to board passengers with non-PCR COVID-19 tests (such as antigen/or antibody tests), positive COVID-19 PCR tests or tests performed beyond 96 hours of boarding; and
b) Permit to Travel Certificate/QR Code showing evidence of having paid for the day-7 COVID-19 PCR in-country test prior to boarding. The certificate can be generated from the Nigeria International Travel Portal on completion of a health questionnaire, uploading of a negative COVID-19 PCR result and payment for the repeat day-7 COVID-19 PCR test at day-7 of arrival in Nigeria.
All passengers arriving Nigeria MUST self-isolate for 7 days at their chosen place of abode, self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and thereafter proceed for a COVID-19 PCR test. Passengers can exit self-isolation on receipt of a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed at day-7 of isolation.
✓ Children less than 10 years old do not require a COVID-19 PCR test pre-boarding.
✓ Diplomats are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test pre-boarding. Children less than 10 years old and diplomats are not required to pay for the in-country day-7 COVID-19 PCR test; however, the relevant sections on the travel portal should be filled and a Permit to Travel certificate/ QR code generated. Further details on this process are provided below.
A. PRE-DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND SOUTH AFRICA:
i. There are FIVE key steps required for passengers to successfully generate the two documents required for boarding:
a) STEP 1 – Passengers MUST perform a COVID-19 PCR test not more than 4 days (96 hours) before boarding. PCR tests done more than 96 hours before departure are not valid and persons will not be allowed to board;
b) STEP 2 – All intending passengers MUST register via an online national travel portal (Nigeria International Travel Portal – https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) and proceed to fill-in the online Health Declaration/Self-Reporting form located on the portal. They should ensure that the information/ contact details provided on the form are correct and verifiable. Passengers MUST be reachable via the phone number and address they have provided. Passengers must also inform Port Health officials on arrival of any change in their health circumstances since completion of the Health Declaration/Self-Reporting Form;
c) STEP 3 – After filling the online Health Declaration/Self-Reporting Form, passengers will be directed to upload their negative COVID-19 PCR test on to the national travel portal. Once this is successfully done, they will proceed to the payment section of the travel portal. Passengers are advised to still bring along an electronic or hard copy of their COVID-19 PCR test for presentation at the airport;
d) STEP 4 – On reaching the payment section of the national travel portal, passengers will be requested to select their preferred Laboratory/Sample Collection Centre based on where they will be self-isolating at day-7 of arrival in Nigeria. A list of accredited private laboratory providers/ Sample Collection Centers across the country are available on the payment platform. The next stage is to choose a bank payment gateway and then proceed to pay for the day-7 in-country COVID-19 PCR test. Please note that passengers paying with naira should use cards issued by a Nigerian bank; and
e) STEP 5 – Following successful payment, passengers shall receive an email containing a Permit to Travel Certificate/QR Code in the email address provided by the passenger. Passengers may also download the Permit to Travel/QR Code using the “Get Permit to Travel” button visible in the top right corner of the portal, save and print the form for presentation at the point of boarding;
ii. At the time of boarding, all travelers will undergo temperature screening and questioned for COVID-19 symptoms. Passengers with COVID-19 related signs and symptoms will not be allowed to board the flight; and
iii. Airlines shall only board passengers with a Permit to Travel Certificate/QR Code AND a negative COVID-19 PCR test carried out within the stipulated 96 hours before boarding. Airlines that board passengers without both documents – a Permit to Travel certificate/QR code AND a negative COVID-19 PCR test with a validity of not more than 96 hours prior to boarding, will be sanctioned as follows:
a) Non-Nigerians may be refused entry and returned to the point of embarkation at cost to the airlines;
b) Nigerians will be allowed entry, but subjected to a mandatory quarantine of 8 -14 days (depending on results of COVID-19 PCR test done from day-7 of arrival) at a facility approved by the government and at a cost to the passenger(s); and
c) Airlines will be fined USD 3,500 per passenger for failure to comply with the pre-boarding requirements.
B. ON ARRIVAL IN NIGERIA
Please kindly note that Port Health Services will process passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa separately from other passengers upon arrival in Nigeria. All passengers are kindly advised to strictly adhere to instructions given by Port Health Services at the arrival terminal. Passengers who fail to adhere to instructions may be sanctioned by airport authorities.
All passengers/persons arriving in Nigeria will be required:
i. To go through the routine Port Health screening and present electronic or print-out evidence of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test and the Permit to Travel Certificate/QR Code which shall contain evidence of payment/appointment for the day-7 repeat PCR test, in-country;
ii. To present their international passports for clearance through the Nigerian Immigration Service System’s Migrants Identification Data Analysis System (MIDAS). The Nigerian Immigration Service will not retain passports;
iii. To proceed on MANDATORY 7-day self-isolation/quarantine in their selected place of abode; self-isolation in the city of port entry is not required. During this time, passengers are advised to avoid physical interaction with friends, family, colleagues, and other members of the public. Passengers should check their emails/text messages regularly for updates regarding the arrangement for their repeat COVID-19 PCR test from the laboratory of their choice;
iv. To present themselves at the sample collection centers on the 7th day of arrival; samples will be taken, and a COVID-19 PCR test done; the private laboratory provider may send a reminder text message, email, or phone call to the passenger a day before the appointment. Kindly note that:
a. Passengers who fail to submit themselves at the sample collection centers on day-7 of arrival will be sent text reminders and their details forwarded to the State Public Health Department teams and NCDC for active follow-up;
b. Private laboratories will forward details of passengers who decline or do not show up for repeat PCR test by day-10 of arrival. These passengers will face suspension of their passports or inclusion on a travel watch list for 6 months and denied foreign travel for this period. Non-Nigerian passport holders will have their visas revoked;
c. Test results will be ready within 48 hours and the State Public Health Department teams & Nigeria Center for Disease Control will be informed accordingly;
d. Persons who test POSITIVE for COVID-19 will be managed based on National Guidelines for COVID-19 treatment;
e. Persons who test NEGATIVE for COVID-19 after 7 days shall end self-isolation on receipt of their result but must continue to self-monitor for symptoms until day-14;
f. Travellers reporting or developing symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival in Nigeria, or during screening will not be allowed to self-quarantine and will be placed in institutional quarantine;
g. For deportees, if one person tests positive for COVID-19, all close primary contacts will be required to undergo enhanced screening and a follow-up PCR test if necessary; and
h. Public Health Officers will monitor passengers during the period of self –isolation/quarantine. For this reason, passengers MUST provide a functioning telephone number on their online registration forms. Persons who develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 during the isolation period will immediately be tested for COVID-19. If POSITIVE, they will be managed based on National Guidelines for COVID-19 treatment.
C. EXIT FROM SELF-ISOLATION
Persons who have tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19 after 7 days of self-isolation/ quarantine will be allowed to exit self-isolation on receipt of their result. This protocol will come into effect from Monday, 28th December, 2020.
-Signed- Boss Mustapha
Secretary to the Government of the Federation/ Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19