FG scraps PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers

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Fully vaccinated inbound travellers would no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 test, the Federal Government said on Monday.

The FG said they would, however, be subjected to rapid antigen test at the airport by the NCDC within the arrival hall of the airport free of charge.

The decision was coming after the complaints by many travellers over the cost placed on the PCR test.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha disclosed this at the National briefing of the Committee in Abuja.

He added that passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated are mandated to take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure or do a Day 2 and day 7 test on arrival, noting that such passengers must pay for the tests.

Mustapha revealed that this directive would take effect from April 4.

He said, “The PSC has reviewed these situations around the world and applies such to the situation in Nigeria and have revised the International Travel Protocols, which should come into effect on Monday, 4th April, 2022 as follows:

Inbound (fully vaccinated) passengers arriving in Nigeria will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 Test;

On arrival, for fully vaccinated passengers, a sample will be taken at the airport for rapid antigen test by the NCDC within the arrival hall of the airport;

Passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure, or do a Day 2 and day 7 test on arrival. Such passengers will be expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform;

“Fully vaccinated passengers will not be charged for arrival rapid antigen tests at the airport;

Rules that apply to fully vaccinated adults also apply to children aged 10 – 18 years; they will not be required to have pre-arrival PCR tests but will have a sample taken at the arrival hall but not charged”

Mustapha urged all passengers travelling out of Nigeria to be fully vaccinated and to comply with COVID-19 protocols and requirements in their country of destination.

Giving update on the Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine, Mustapha said, the Port Health Services had so far screened about 2,357 persons out of the over 8,000  evacuated.

Of this figure, he said 193 tested positive for the coronavirus, adding that they are being managed in accordance with the protocols.

​So far, the world has recorded over 471 million confirmed cases, 6 million deaths and over 11 billion vaccine doses administered, while in Nigeria, we have recorded 255,103 and 3,142 persons have died as a result of COVID-19.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the number of vaccinated Nigerians, he said  over 20 million persons have been vaccinated with at least the first dose, saying that, “These number is not very encouraging, hence, the need for all eligible Nigerians to come out and be vaccinated.”

He also warned Nigerians to be mindful of scammers, especially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, who come to assist them in accessing the NITP and in the process, register them as children to avoid paying for the post-arrival tests.

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