‘Two COVID tests in 72 hours’ — new protocol for Nigeria as UAE lifts flight ban

Author:
Ebunoluwa Olafusi

The Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has released a new protocol directing travellers from Nigeria to undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival at the airport in the United Arab Emirates.

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Flights between both countries have been suspended since March over issues relating to COVID-19 protocol.

In a release seen by TheCable on Saturday, the middle east country said the new measure is part of its efforts to ease inbound travel restrictions.

Passengers are also expected to have taken a COVID test 48 hours before departure, and have negative results to show for it.

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According to the Dubai media office, the protocol will become effective from June 23, 2021.

“Passengers must have received a negative test result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure; UAE citizens exempted,” the new guideline reads.

“Passengers should present a negative PCR test certificate with a 0R Code from labs approved by the Nigerian Government.

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“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.

“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.”

The federal government had been in talks with the authorities of the UAE over the travel protocol put in place against Nigeria in the wake of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, Emirates Airline had directed that travellers taking off from Nigeria must conduct rapid COVID-19 tests before departure, but the federal government had banned outbound Emirates flights for violating the directive of the presidential task force (PTF) on rapid antigen tests.

The ban was lifted after the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests. It was later reintroduced on March 15, with the federal government explaining that the airline had continued to conduct rapid antigen tests for passengers before departure from Nigeria.

Thereafter, in March, the UAE embassy in Abuja announced a new COVID-19 travel protocol for Nigeria as part of measures to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.

Passengers who had been in or transited through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days before travelling to Dubai were barred from entering the middle east country.

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