Coronavirus update: Federal Government to retain passports of travellers to Nigeria
The Federal Government says all persons – whether citizens or foreigners – coming into the country will be required to leave their passports with the Nigeria Immigration Service for two weeks pending the verification of their COVID- 19 status .
The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this in a circular addressed to all diplomatic , consular and international organisations accredited to Nigeria .
In the circular dated June 10 , 2020 , with reference number BW / 20 /CIR . LET/ III /2020 , the government said the only category of persons that would be exempted from this new rule are those who possess a diplomatic passport .
It read in part, “Persons who have arrived in Nigeria are advised to self -isolate for 14 days and to remain in the city / state where the point of entry is located ( i . e Lagos or Abuja ) throughout the duration of self -quarantine .
“ If not resident in Lagos , passengers shall make arrangements for accommodation at their own cost. Please note that the Federal Government will not be responsible for providing accommodation or transportation to the place of abode .
“ Passengers will be cleared through the Nigeria Immigration Service System ’ s Migrant Identification and Data Analysis System and their passports retained until after successful completion of 14 days self -quarantine except diplomatic passport holders . ”
It said after all the COVID- 19 protocols had been followed , instructions would be given to the NIS to release the passports to their owners .
According to the circular, alternative arrangements could be made to collect passports via special delivery .
The government said persons who are unable to remain in Lagos or Abuja throughout the period of self -quarantine may return to their states of residence only after their samples have been collected and have tested negative for COVID – 19 .
Such persons must also make their full contact details available .
The government said anyone planning to visit Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID – 19 and such a test must be done two weeks before .
It said passengers would be given forms to fill which must include travel and health history .
The circular further states , “ Passengers arriving /returning to Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID- 19 ( pre- boarding PCR test in country of departure ). PCR test must be within two weeks before departure and preferably not less than five days pre – boarding .
“ Tests done more than two weeks before departure are not valid and persons will not be allowed to board ; but for the five days minimum , this advisory will not preclude boarding.
“ On board, passengers are required to fill in the health declaration / self -reporting form and the sample collection time allocation form . ”
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