COVID-19: Nigeria Scraps PCR Test for Fully Vaccinated Travellers
The National briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 for the 21st March, 2022. This is the first briefing to be held by the PSC since December 2021 and for the year 2022.
2.The briefing today will therefore be focusing on updates on some key developments ranging from the review of the international travel protocols, update on our vaccination status, and the evacuation of Nigerians from Ukraine.
3. We still have the National Response in place as we continue to monitor global trends and adapt them with our situation in country. There has been a consistent decline in number of cases around the world but that does not give us the leverage to let our guards down yet because there are predictions of rebounds as we can see in China, South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, France, Hong Kong, etc. In fact, China has reintroduced lockdowns in some cities due to the spike in cases.
4.So far, the world has recorded over 471 million confirmed cases, 6 million deaths and over 11 billion vaccine doses administered, while in Nigeria, we have recorded 255,103 and 3,142 persons have died as a result of COVID-19. We have vaccinated over 20 million persons with at least the first dose. These number is not very encouraging, hence, the need for all eligible Nigerians to come out and be vaccinated.
5.However, the PSC has reviewed these situations around the world and applies such to the situation in Nigeria and have revised the International Travel Protocols, which should come into effect on Monday, 4th April, 2022 as follows:
i. In-bound (fully vaccinated) passengers arriving in Nigeria will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 Test;
ii. On arrival, for fully vaccinated passengers, a sample will be taken at the airport for rapid antigen test by the NCDC within the arrival hall of the airport;
iii. Passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure, or do a Day 2 and day 7 test on arrival. Such passengers will be expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform;
iv. Fully vaccinated passengers will not be charged for arrival rapid antigen tests at the airport;
v. Rules that apply to fully vaccinated adults also apply to children aged 10 – 18 years; they will not be required to have pre-arrival PCR tests but will have a sample taken at the arrival hall but not charged;
vi. All passengers travelling out of Nigeria are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to fully comply with COVID-19 protocols and requirements in their country of destination.
vii. The PSC continues to strongly recommend the use of face masks in enclosed environments. In open spaced, the use of face masks is discretional.
The Technical Head of the PSC will elaborate on the revised protocols and implementation guidelines.
6.The Port Health Services have so far screened about 2,357 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine for COVID-19 out of the over 8,000 residents or students living in Ukraine. Out of these passengers, 193 tested positive to COVID-19 and are managed according to our protocols.
7.The PSC also warns Nigerians to be mindful of Scammers specially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, who come to assist them in accessing the NITP and in the process, register them as children to avoid paying post arrival test.
8.The PSC wishes to put Nigerians on notice that two major religious festivities (Easter and Sallah) are approaching and we shall be experiencing increased passenger traffic in and out of the country. While the PSC prepares to escalate surveillance and other control activities, we urge the States and all Nigerians to also increase their vigilance and take measure to moderate activities.
Secretary to the Government of Federation
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Report By: PRNigeria.com