The Nigeria Centre for Disiese Control (NCDC) has emphasized the conducting of repeat test for Coronavirus Dissease (COVID-19) by travellers and the result obtained 24 hours before departure into Nigeria.
This follows complaints and enquiries on the use of the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).
The Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) was launched by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC-COVID-19) formerly Presidential Task Force, with support from the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID).
Since the resumption of international flights post-COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria on 5th September 2020, the portal remains an effective means of preventing the importation of COVID-19 via air travel which reduces the risk of further spread of the virus and its variants in the country.
A statement issued by the director general of the centre, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said since the portal launch, the NITP has been updated frequently overtime and more recently, there was an upgrade in October 2021, to enable a more user-friendly experience for travellers, laboratories, and other users.
Adetifa explained that the decision to make repeat tests mandatory in Nigeria was based on the review of COVID-19 test positivity data among returnees to Nigeria during the first and subsequent waves of the pandemic.
According to him,”This was necessary for ensuring a balance between our mandate to protect the health of Nigerians from more infections and supporting the restart of the economy including international travel.
As of 16th January 2022, over 18,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded from inbound travellers to Nigeria. Therefore, the associated risk of disease transmission is not trivial.”
Adetifa noted that the management was aware of reports of travellers to Nigeria who have experienced delays at the airport for not meeting all the travel requirements as stated on the NITP.
To ensure a seamless use of the travel portal, he urged the public to adhere strictly to the guidance on the travel portal as summarised below:
He hinted that registration on the travel portal prior to departure should be done immediately negative COVID-19 test result was obtained, preferably 24 hrs before travel date.
The agency further informed that card payments were recommended over bank transfers especially if registration on the portal was done less than 24 hours before departure as highlighted by the DISCLAIMER on the travel portal,while QR codes for bank transfers were generated after 24hrs.
It also directed travellers who do not receive their QR code despite making payment to download the permit to Travel/QR Code using the “Get Permit to Travel” button visible on the top right corner of the portal,just as a link to print the Permit-To-Travel is also sent to the email address of registered travellers.