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Nigeria releases guidelines on international flights

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Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that the activities of airlines operating international flights will be closely monitored to prevent the importation of coronavirus cases in the state. He also disclosed that not all the airlines will be granted permission to operate flights at once.
International flights are expected to resume in Nigeria on September 5.
Speaking on Saturday at the State House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu stressed that not all airlines would be allowed to operate on the resumption date, saying the state government was working with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 as well as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to perfect plans for the resumption of international flights at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
He said: “In the course of the week, I will be receiving the management of FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) in my office so that we will review and go over what they have. I will also be going to the airport myself to take a spot assessment in the week to ascertain the physical level of preparedness at the airport so that we will be clear and we will all be on the same page as well as ensure all the protocol that we need for adequate compliance are in place.
“Going by what is being worked out, there is going to be a phased in-flow of international travels, not all the airlines will be opened up at once, we are going to be bringing them in based on a schedule per week. So, it is pretty much like a measured number. That way, we can actually be able to deal with it.
“Also, the times of arrivals, we will ensure that there are no crowding and backflow of issues. We are working on all these.
“We noticed that imported cases were beginning to appear again, meaning some foreigners were coming in, so, we needed to be able to track and monitor and be sure that once we are able to manage our own internal affairs, so we do not have imported cases. So, the protocol for wherever they are coming from and also in the country must be strictly adhered to so that we don’t have imported cases.”
International flights in and out of Nigeria were banned in March when the coronavirus was imported into the country by visitors and returnees from overseas countries.
The virus has killed more than 1000 people in Nigeria.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 permitted flights on essential services, including evacuation of Nigerians from abroad to operate guided services. Domestic flights resumed on July 8.
The PTF had also warned that airlines that fail to comply with the COVID-19 protocol for the resumption of international flights would pay a fine of $3,500 per passenger.
Speaking in Abuja on Thursday, Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, said only the MMIA and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, would be reopened for international travel.

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