COVID-19: Nigeria to ban flights from UAE, The Netherlands

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has threatened to ban flights the UAE and The Netherlands as a reciprocal action.

The taskforce said the Ministry of Aviation and its relevant agencies have been mandated to take the reciprocal measures as may be permissible the laws and other international obligations expected to be discharged against Emirates airlines operating the UAE and other airlines Yhe Netherlands.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, disclosed this at the routine briefing of the committee in on Monday.

Mustapha said: “For over a month, Nigeria has been engaged with the authorities of the UAE and  The Netherlands over pre-departure testing requirements should meet before travelling from Nigeria.

According to him, the PTF has mandated the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to take reciprocal measures as may be permissible the laws and other international obligations which we are expected to discharge.

The News of Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that February 2021, the Nigeria government did ban Emirates temporarily the airline violated guidelines issued by the COVID-19 PTF.

The airline accepted for boarding that had rapid antigen COVID test certificates issued by laboratories not on the list of ones approved by the authorities.

UAE and The Netherlands face the ban on flying out of Nigeria again the airline had been using rapid COVID-19 tests on customers before they were allowed to board flights to Dubai.

The new rapid testing requirement is believed to have been added to address concerns that some were presenting fraudulent PCR certificates to get around existing pre-flight testing rules.

travelling from Lagos and to Dubai are already required to take a COVID-19 test within 72-hours of departure and a second on arrival Dubai.

Only laboratories approved by the Dubai authorities should be used of fears that some testing centres weren’t providing accurate results.

NAN recalls that the NCAA had explained a statement that it had asked Emirates not to press ahead with its pre-flight rapid testing requirement until the test provider had been approved by the government.

The NCAA claims Emirates had “failed to heed” its request. (NAN)