COVID-19: FG May Suspend Flights From UAE, Netherlands


The Federal Government on Monday threatened to suspend flights from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Netherlands as a reciprocal action.

Naija News reports that this was made known by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha.

Speaking during the presidential task force on COVID-19 (PTF) briefing in Abuja on Monday, Mustapha stated that the government had met with authorities of the countries over COVID-19 testing.

He said the ministry of aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have been directed to take necessary reciprocal measures permissible by law and other international obligations.

“For over a month, Nigeria has been engaging with the authorities of the UAE and the Netherlands over pre-departure testing requirements passengers should meet before travelling from Nigeria,” TheCable quoted Mustapha as saying.

Recall that Emirates Airline, which operates from Dubai, had on February 1, 2021, announced that it would conduct rapid COVID-19 tests for Nigerian travellers at the Lagos and Abuja airports before departure in addition to banning transit flights operated by other airlines with Nigerians on them.

The NCAA opposed this move and placed a 72-hour suspension on outbound Emirates flights from Nigeria.

At the time, the agency said the airline has been airlifting passengers from Nigeria using rapid antigen tests conducted by laboratories not approved by regulatory authorities.

The ban was lifted after the carrier agreed to withdraw the rapid antigen testing done prior to the departure flights from Nigeria.



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