The Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika has announced that there will be strict rules as international flights resume operation on August 29.
He made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja during the briefing by members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, where he also stated that flight operation would begin in and out of two airports – Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
“What we have become used to – physical distancing, wearing of a mask, washing of hands and temperature checks – will continue. In the beginning, there will be four flights into Abuja and Lagos daily; we will give further details on that. This is a decision that was taken by the PTF and not that by the Aviation Ministry alone.”
On what is required of passengers, Sirika said:
“Very close to your departure dates, you will take a COVID test where you are coming from and then, of course, you would go online to fill the health questionnaire so that you don’t bother yourself filling long forms while you arrive on in the aircraft.
“There will also be a portal that we will open. Prior to your departure, you will pay through that platform for the test to be done here in Nigeria after your arrival. Meaning that, just before you depart, you take a test and when you are negative and not showing any signs of COVID-19, we will board you on the flight.
“When you arrive in Nigeria, you will go through the protocols and exit the airport, and the eighth day after your arrival, which we consider the incubation period, you will take a test. They will pay for the testing before they board and it will be on a platform online and it will give them options of what to do and then the test will be done after eight days.
“So, gradually when we apply all these protocols, there might be no need to take their passport at the airports. In all of this, there is a national air transportation facilitation committee that involves all aviation stakeholders. We are all working on the protocols and it will be released once it is approved by the PTF.”
He also hinted that it has been proven so far that no one has contracted the virus while onboard on aircraft, which is an indication that aircraft are safe.