FG faults ban as UAE lifts travel suspension on Nigeria, others

United Arab Emirates has lifted its travel bank on Nigeria and 11 other African countries.

The UAE officials said all inbound flights from Nigeria and 11 other countries would resume after the indefinite ban that was triggered by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The 12 countries affected by the ban were Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

According to the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority, starting 2.30 pm on Saturday, January 29, entry measures for travellers coming in from three other African countries: Uganda, Ghana and Rwanda have been updated

It, however, said inbound passengers from the listed countries would be required to present negative Covid-19 test results, obtained from approved laboratories not longer than 48 hours prior to their departure, on arrival in UAE.

Also, the passengers will be required to undergo a Rapid PCR test at the airports of departure as well as another PCR test upon arrival.

Emirates Airlines, one of the UAE carriers, had also suspended flights to many African cities due to the earlier directive.

Emirates had also suspended flights to Nigeria.

Reacting to the development however,  the Technical Head, Presidential Steering Committee, Mukhtar Muhammed, said there was no reason for the ban in the first place.

He said the decision was political and discriminating, adding that European countries with high index cases of the coronavirus were not affected by the move.

He said, “The decision to suspend flight from Nigeria and other African countries had no scientific basis, it was just a discriminatory move. What they did was not fair because we did not see any of the countries that have a high prevalence rate in Europe were affected by that decision.

“As far as we are concerned, it was just a political move. Now that the ban has been lifted, we would look at their conditions and we will also make sure they comply with our own. We have our protocol in place, and we expect anybody coming into the country to comply with them.”


Article first published on the Punch Website

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