COVID-19: Nigeria govt releases guidelines for air travels

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

The Nigerian government has released new procedural guidelines for air travellers and other airport users.

The new guidelines are issued against the backdrop of the approval that flight operations recommence gradually at the nation’s airports effective July 8.

A statement by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria said the new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is aimed at protecting all stakeholders and preventing further spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In the “new normal”, departing passengers must comply with sundry guidelines.

First, according to FAAN spokesperson, Henrietta Yakubu, all “passengers MUST arrive at the airport properly kitted with their FACE MASKS ON,” and they must also ensure “a minimum of one point five meters (1.5m) PHYSICAL DISTANCING.”

Similarly, aviation medical/port health personnel would screen each passenger and ensure the use of face masks, while those travelling with pets must get necessary clearance from Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services.

In the new procedures, FAAN said that “all passengers’ luggage WOULD be DISINFECTED/SANITIZED by FOOT MATS placed at all entrances to the terminal building, amongst others.”

For arriving passengers, on disembarkation from the aircraft, they would observe physical distancing as they board the co-buses while hand sanitizers would be provided in the buses.

“PHYSICAL DISTANCING protocols MUST be observed at the BAGGAGE claim area, where HAND SANITIZER is also provided,” the statement said.

Disinfected trolleys would be made available for passengers and all COVID-19 protocols must be observed while undergoing customs check, it added.

FAAN added that passengers would exit the halls and head straight to the car park for pick up and if they must speak to anyone around, they are expected to speak to a properly tagged Aviation Security (AVSEC) officer. Physical distancing would be maintained while waiting to be screened by personnel of port health services, amongst others.

“In addition to the above guidelines, passengers are required to observe SOCIAL DISTANCING and make use of the FLOOR MARKINGS at the security screening area,” FAAN said. They must also comply with all other security guidelines as laid down by officials of the Aviation Security (AVSEC) department.

“We urge all our passengers and other stakeholders to respect and observe these necessary protocols, put in place for our protection,” Mrs Yakubu explained.

“Our success in achieving healthy and safe air travels is highly dependent on your cooperation in this regard.”


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