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Nigeria: International Air Travellers To Be At The Airport 5 Hours Before Departure, As FG Give Guidelines For Local Flights, Others

By The Nigeria Voice
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Passengers travelling abroad through Nigeria’s airport terminals are required to arrive five hours before departure to undergo COVID-19 protocols, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said.

The Minister revealed this on Saturday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos when he announced some of the measures introduced for the reopening of the country’s airports closed in March following outbreak of COVID-19.

Sirika, who led other members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to inspect facilities put in place at the airport ahead of its reopening, said domestic travellers on their part would need to arrive three hours before departure for processing.

According to him, this is in a bid to reduce sources of contamination of the virus.

Sirika said physical distancing had been established at various points of the airport, adding that this is done by marking the floors at the airports.

He said physical distancing would now be required to be maintained right from the point of getting down from the vehicle that conveys one to the airport.

“We will provide polythene bags where passengers put all their things for protocol and we will ensure there is a minimal contact by the person screening you,” Sirika said.

The minister said the number of seats at the departure lounge of the MMIA had been reduced to 50 from 500 in order to maintain social distancing.

He further said passengers must comply strictly to the wearing of face masks before entering the airports, while aviation authorities would ensure provision of alcohol-based sanitisers at the airports.

The minister added that toilets at the airports were also COVID-19 compliant, stressing that everything is being done to minimise physical contact.

Sirika said pilots, engineers, traffic controllers and catering staff, among others, at the airports were now certified and licensed to carry out certain activities only when they have the valid clearance.

He said the aircrafts must be airworthy with full compliance to COVID-19 protocols, adding that the airports are set to be reopened.

He said there would be palliatives for operators of airlines because they had lost a lot.

Dr. Sani Aliyu, the PTF Coordinator, expressed satisfaction over full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the airport.

Aliyu said it showed the airport was ready for reopening with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Also speaking, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said members of the PTF were at the airport to inform Nigerians on the new protocols and processes guiding the reopening of airports.

Other members of the PTF who were in Lagos to observe adherence to COVID-19 protocols were the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunibe Mamora; and Minister of State for Education, Emeka Uwajiuba.