Wed, Jan

Omicron Variant: FG To Issue New Travel Guideline

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Following the index case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in South Africa, the Federal Government has said it will on Tuesday issue new travel protocol in line with proactive measures against the new variant from Nigeria. The National Incident Manager of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Mr. Mukhtar Muhammad made the disclosure during a press briefing on Monday, saying the World Health Organization (WHO) has flagged the variant high risk, designating the Omicron as a “variant of concern”.

Mr. Muhammad noted that though no case of the new COVID-19 variant has been detected in Nigeria, the PSC is taking “proactive measures to minimise and mitigate this possibility”.

“Consequently, the PSC will be issuing a travel guideline document tomorrow, but let me highlight the contents of this travel guideline.

“Passengers arriving in the country are required to do a PCR test 48 hours before departing. They will also do day two and day seven PCR tests on arrival and they will be required to self-isolate for seven days.

“Passengers that are outbound, going out of Nigeria, will be required to either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or provide a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before departure. These conditions apply to diplomats as well. The measures will come into effect by Friday, 3rd of December, 2021.

“The PSC will ensure that there is enforcement of passengers who arrive and refuse to take tests through suspension of their passports and prosecution, or both. Furthermore, we’ll be increasing our surveillance at the ports of entry into the country, intensifying testing and contact tracing, and optimizing sequencing capacity.”