UK Covid strain: FG moves to return defaulting passengers

In a bid to forestall the importation of the new strain of Covid-19 recorded in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the Federal Government has issued fresh protocol for airlines and passengers coming into Nigeria from the two countries.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority said non-Nigerian passengers who fail to comply with the new protocol would be returned to the UK and South Africa upon arrival in Nigeria.

This was contained in a circular issued on Saturday and signed by the NCAA Director-General, Capt Musa Nuhu.

Nuhu directed all indigenous and foreign airlines operating flights between Nigeria and the two countries to ensure all passengers comply with the fresh directive or face punitive measures.

The circular was titled, ‘Protocol For All Passengers Originating From United Kingdom And South Africa’.

It partly read, “Airlines shall be fined $3,500 (Three Thousand Five dollars) for each defaulting passenger.

“Airlines may be required to return non-Nigerian defaulting passengers to point of embarkation.

“Repeated non-compliance by any Airline will lead to the suspension of the Airline’s Approval/Permit to Fly into the country.”

No fewer than 40 countries including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritius have suspended travel from Britain in a bid to contain a fast-spreading new strain of COVID-19.

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