FG mulls suspension of UAE, Netherlands flights over stiff COVID-19 measures

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    The federal government said Monday that it may suspend flight operations from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Netherlands following new COVID-19 measures introduced by the countries for incoming travellers.Speaking at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Control of COVID-19 in Abuja, Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr Musa Nuhu, said this was necessary because the two countries recently requested that passengers from Nigeria must carry out a PCR test four hours before departing the country.

    “In addition to the requirements are a requirement for PCR test before passengers departs from Nigeria to their countries. They are adding an extra requirement of having a rapid test done four hours before departure or before you board.“For us, passengers do the test 72 hours before departure and then the PCR test and the PTF recognizes the rights of all countries to put in measures to protect their citizens just like Nigeria has done.“If they insist on having these additional tests being done, then PTF has decided that their operations will be suspended into Nigeria,” he said.

    He said the two countries and their airlines cannot determine for Nigeria who to approve or how its test should be done.He said government would open up discussions with the airlines and countries involved.“This will enable the PTF to have a clear and transparent process on determining who will do these test based on the requirement for accreditation by NCDC, National Laboratory Council, Lagos state government for Lagos airport and FCT for Abuja airport,” he said.

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