COVID-19: Nigeria rejects new testing regime, may suspend Dubai, Netherlands flights


The Federal Government has said it may suspend flight operations from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Netherlands due to the new COVID-19 protocols introduced by both countries for incoming travellers.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, said this on Monday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to him, both countries recently requested that passengers from Nigeria must carry out a PCR test four hours before departing the country.

“In addition to the requirements are a requirement for PCR test before passengers departs from Nigeria to their countries. They are adding an extra requirement of having a rapid test done four hours before departure or before you board.

“For us, passengers do the test 72 hours before departure and then the PCR test and the PTF recognizes the rights of all countries to put in measures to protect their citizens just like Nigeria has done,” Nuhu said.

He said that if they insist on having these additional tests being done, then PTF has decided that their operations will be suspended into Nigeria.

He said that these countries and airlines cannot determine for Nigeria who to approve or how these test will be done.

He, however, said the federal government will be discussing with the airlines and countries involved.

He said, “This will enable the PTF to have a clear and transparent process on determining who will do these test based on the requirement for accreditation by NCDC, National Laboratory Council, Lagos state government for Lagos airport and FCT for Abuja airport.”