Nigeria’s airline regulator said on Monday that the country lifted testing requirements for the coronavirus (Covid-19) for international travelers and no longer required the wearing of face masks on flights and in airport terminals.
In a warning to airlines, Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority said travelers to and from Nigeria need not undertake tests for COVID-19 regardless of their vaccination status.
The official said travelers over 60 and those with comorbidities have been encouraged to wear face masks.
Nigeria has recorded 266,381 cases of COVID-19 and 3,155 deaths since the pandemic began.
The new protocol relaxed the rule for masks to be worn in airport terminals and on board aircraft by airport staff, passengers and crew, saying it was “no longer mandatory”.
The note said: “The use of face masks by passengers on board aircraft or in airport terminals is voluntary but encouraged.”
However, those aged 60 and over, with compromised immune systems and with comorbidities are advised to continue wearing face masks and “wash their hands with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid large gatherings”.
The NCAA also said it was no longer necessary to disinfect bags at the entrance to airport terminals.
There are several controversies behind Nigeria’s COVID-19 protocol for international travelers. Many complained about the high cost of PCR testing, even though other countries were already waiving the protocols.
However, with the new protocol, the NCAA said all COVID-19 quarantine/travel requirements are optional.