Nigeria suspends Covid-19 tests for travellers

Nigeria suspends Covid-19 tests for travellers. Picture: Instagram

Nigeria suspends Covid-19 tests for travellers. Picture: Instagram

Published Dec 15, 2022


The Nigerian Government has approved the immediate relaxation of the Covid-19 safety measures and travel advisory, including the suspension of all pre-departure, pre-boarding, and post-arrival PCR test requirements.

According to a statement by the secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 (PSC), Boss Mustapha, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval follows recommendations of the PSC based on clinical and laboratory evidence of a sustained reduction in Covid-19 infection/transmission across the country.

“All pre-departure and post-arrival PCR test requirements for all persons who are not fully vaccinated have been suspended,” the statement said.

“With the suspension of both the pre boarding and post-arrival PCR tests, passengers will no longer be required to upload evidence of vaccination on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP). All unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated.

“A simplified Health Declaration Form (non-Covid-19 specific) shall be completed by all passengers arriving in Nigeria on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP); while provision will be made on arrival for those who were unable to complete this form before departure.

“Finally, the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 (PSC) appeals to Nigerians to ensure that they take their Covid-19 vaccinations as well as booster doses,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 (PSC-Covid-19) has advised the relaxation of all Covid-19 safety measures and travel advisories.

The committee said on Wednesday, December 14, in Abuja that the measures included the lifting of Covid-19 protocols for travellers, the compulsory use of face masks in public spaces and restrictions on mass gatherings.

“Due to recent assessments of the Covid-19 situation in the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), has also transitioned from weekly case announcements for Covid-19 to biweekly situation reports for Covid-19.

“However, we continue to advise Nigerians to visit the nearest government health facility to get vaccinated if you have not been previously vaccinated. Complete vaccination dose if partially vaccinated and get the booster dose for increased immunity.”

It advised persons in the high-risk category for severe Covid-19, including hospitalisation, the elderly, those with conditions or on treatments that affect their immune systems, those with hypertension, diabetes and other significant chronic illness to continue to use their facemask in crowded places.

• Wash hands with soap under running water frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitiser.

• Cough or sneeze into your bent elbow or a disposable tissue.

• Get tested for Covid-19 if you notice Covid-19-associated symptoms.

• Self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19 until you recover. Adhere to the published guidelines for home-based care of mild Covid-19 cases.

• Fill out the simplified Health Declaration Form (not exclusive to Covid-19) on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) upon before or on arrival in the country.

It noted that although no longer a pre-requisite for travel, it recommended filling in this simplified health declaration form prior to travel to Nigeria to avoid any additional delays on arrival at Nigerian airports.

It assured that the NCDC would continue to maintain surveillance (including genomic surveillance [sequencing]) to monitor Covid-19 trends locally and monitor the global situation to inform public health measures to protect the health of Nigerians.