The Nigerian government has suspended the passports of 2,000 travellers who failed to undergo the mandatory arrival quarantine and other protocols after returning into the country.
The National Incident Manager (NIM) of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Mukhtar Muhammad, disclosed this at the committee’s briefing on Monday.
Mr Muhammad said the government had insisted that passengers who arrive into the country, especially from high risk countries, must quarantine in a facility provided by the government.
He said the passports of those who failed to follow the protocol have been suspended for one year, meaning they cannot legally travel out of Nigeria within that period.
“We have included the provision of quarantine for passengers who arrived from these high risk countries and people who evade these protocols have been penalised by publishing their names as well as by suspending their passports for one year.
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“Let me assure you that so far we have published the list of over 2,000 people who evaded quarantine in our health facilities.
“And we have gone ahead to ensure that their passports are suspended. So, for every action there are consequences,” he said.
The PSC on May 1 issued a Travel Advisory for passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India and Turkey.
These precautionary measures were described as a necessary step to mitigate the risk of importation of COVID-19 variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population, according to the chairman of the PSC, Boss Mustapha.
Under the measures, passengers arriving from/or that have visited any of the three countries within 14 days prior to their visit to Nigeria, were required to follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.
But many passengers failed to observe the compulsory isolation or present themselves for the PCR repeat test on day seven, the government said.
The PSC had previously published the names and passport numbers of defaulters.