Home Health & Food COVID-19: Nigeria makes U-turn, mandates vaccination for travellers

COVID-19: Nigeria makes U-turn, mandates vaccination for travellers

by James Davies

Following the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases in China, Japan, the United States (U.S.) and other countries, the Nigerian government has announced that international travellers to Nigeria are now required to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination.

The Director of Port Health Services, Geoffrey Okatubo, disclosed this Monday during a media briefing at the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja.

The Nigerian government had in December 2022 ordered the relaxation of COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisory, including the suspension of all pre-departure, pre-boarding and post-arrival PCR test requirements.

It also noted that the compulsory use of face masks in public spaces and restrictions on mass gatherings are now optional, adding that passengers will no longer be required to upload evidence of vaccination on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).

Resumed checks

Speaking further, Mr Okatubo said port health services had heightened surveillance at points of entry for travellers from China, Japan, and the United States.

“Port health services have resumed checks of passengers’ vaccination status and will provide traffic data on inbound passengers from all over the world,” he said.

“All international travellers arriving in Nigeria are now to provide evidence of vaccination at the point of entry and it was agreed that unvaccinated passengers arriving from other countries may have to be vaccinated at the airport.

READ ALSO:  COVID-19: As Nigeria relaxes travel protocols, NCDC to give biweekly

“The minister of health also recently approved that port health services should meet with other stakeholders such as the NCDC, and the ministry of aviation over the use of rapid diagnostic testing at points of entry.”

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Vaccination update

Also speaking at the briefing, The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said as of 20 January, Nigeria had fully vaccinated 65,176,784 persons, while 77,070,988 eligible persons have taken at least one dose of the vaccine.

He added that a total of 10,390,911 persons have received booster doses.

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