Travel

COVID-19 Testing: Nigerian Government threatens to ban flights from UAE, Netherlands

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has threatened to ban flights from the UAE and The Netherlands as a reciprocal action.

The taskforce said the Ministry of Aviation and its relevant agencies have been mandated to take the necessary reciprocal measures as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations expected to be discharged against Emirates airlines operating from the UAE and other airlines from The Netherlands.

Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, disclosed this at the routine briefing of the committee in Abuja on Monday.

Mr. Mustapha said: “For over a month, Nigeria has been engaged with the authorities of the UAE and The Netherlands over pre-departure testing requirements passengers should meet before travelling from Nigeria.

According to him, the PTF has mandated the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to take necessary reciprocal measures as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations which we are expected to discharge.

In February 2021, the Nigeria government did ban Emirates temporarily because the airline violated guidelines issued by the COVID-19 PTF.

The airline accepted passengers for boarding that had rapid antigen COVID test certificates issued by laboratories not on the list of ones approved by the authorities.

UAE and The Netherlands face the ban on flying passengers out of Nigeria again because the airline had been using rapid COVID-19 tests on customers before they were allowed to board flights to Dubai.

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