Nigeria Issues Coronavirus Ban on Travelers from India, Brazil, Turkey

Passengers wait in line at the departure terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, in Abuja, Nigeria on September 7, 2020. - After a five-month closure of the Nigerian airspace due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, flight resumptions began in Abuja, Nigeria. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP) (Photo by …
KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty

The Nigerian government announced on Saturday “non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria.” The ban is set to take effect on Tuesday.

The travel ban was announced by Nigeria’s presidential steering committee on the coronavirus pandemic.

“These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimise the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries,” the committee said.

The new travel policy also requires Nigerian nationals and permanent residents who visited Brazil, India, or Turkey within the past two weeks to undergo a one-week mandatory quarantine in a government-approved facility. All arriving passengers will be required to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of traveling.

“Additional protocols” were specified for travelers from the United Kingdom and South Africa, who will be “processed separately by public health authorities,” required to isolate themselves for seven days after arrival, and may be subjected to “enhanced surveillance and active enforcement” of enhanced coronavirus measures.

India is currently grappling with a massive coronavirus surge and Turkey is under nationwide “full lockdown” until May 17. Brazil’s situation began improving in March, but it still has a high incidence of cases, including a variant of Chinese coronavirus that is a topic of concern for international health agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Nigeria, the most heavily-populated nation in Africa, has reported about 165,000 coronavirus cases and 1,954 fatalities to date, but these numbers are “considered to be underestimates, due to the low number of tests carried out in relation to its more than 200 million inhabitants,” as Africa News pointed out.

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