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NATIONAL: 100 travellers placed on 6-months’ restriction for flouting Covid-19 PCR test

THE Federal Government has good on its threat to ban incoming travellers who flouted the mandatory seven-day post-arrival Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction test.

This became public knowledge following the announcement that about 100 international passengers have been placing on six months’ travel restriction for the infraction.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced this in a memo titled ‘Travel restriction,’ released by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Friday night.

The decision came barely five days after the Federal Government warned travellers to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols adding that defaulters would be decisively dealt with by restricting their travels.

Boss Mustapha noted that the six months’ travel restriction, which took effect on January 1, 2021, was “based on presidential authority.”

He said, “Defaulting passengers have been notified and will be prevented from travelling out of the country during this period.”

Mustapha had, on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, said with effect from January 1, 2021, the passports of the first 100 passengers who had failed to take their day-seven post-arrival PCR test would be published in national newspapers.

He also noted that the PTF had worked out additional quarantine protocols to be observed by travellers arriving from the UK and South Africa, in keeping with government determination to minimise any possibility of importation of the virus.

He said, “The new policy started from Monday, December 28, 2020. Key changes include requirement for passengers for two additional documents, permit to travel/QR code obtained from the travel portal after payment for the day-seven post-arrival test; and COVID-19 PCR negative test with a validity now shortened to 96 hours or four days.

“The PTF shall remain vigilant on this matter and our relevant agencies are also working on the sequencing to determine the strain found.”

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