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Omicron: FG reviews protocol for international travel

The federal government has evaluated its international travel protocol to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 variants of concern.

The revised protocol did not place restrictions on travellers from any country.

Recall that the national incident manager of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Mukhtar Muhammad had disclosed on Monday that the government will release a new travel protocol to prevent the Omicron COVID-19 variant from entering Nigeria.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) later announced on Wednesday that three cases of Omicron had been detected in the country.

Omicron — identified as a “variant of concern” — was recently detected by South African authorities.

In the new travel protocol dated December 1 and signed by Boss Mustapha, chairman, presidential steering committee on COVID-19, the federal government said: “COVID-19 PCR test to be done within 48hrs before departure, post-arrival day 2 COVID-19 PCR test, self-isolation for 7 days (for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals), day 7 post-arrival exit PCR test (for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals).”

According to the travel protocol which takes effect on December 5, out-bound travellers are required to provide either valid evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19 or negative PCR test results within 48hrs from the time of boarding.

“The review of the protocol is based on science, national experience, and global developments. The PSC assures Nigerians, that it shall continue to monitor global and specific country situations with a view to taking necessary measures to safeguard the health of Nigerians,” the protocol reads.

“The PSC calls on all Nigerians to ensure that they have taken their full dose of COVID-19 vaccinations and to continue to observe compliance to public health social measures.”

The World Health Organisation said Omicron has been detected in at least 23 countried including the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong.

Several countries including the UK, US and Germany have imposed travel restrictions on travellers from Southern Africa.

The Indonesian government on Sunday said it will ban travellers from eight African countries — including Nigeria. 

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