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FG may ban flights from UAE, Netherlands over COVID-19 protocol

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said it may ban flights from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Netherlands in line with international law of reciprocity. .

The task force said the Ministry of Aviation and its relevant agencies have been mandated to take the necessary reciprocal measures as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations expected to be discharged against Emirates Airlines operating from the UAE and other airlines from the Netherlands.The Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the routine briefing of the committee in Abuja, 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 passengers should meet before travelling from Nigeria.”

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

It will be recalled, in February 2021, the Nigeria government banned Emirates Airlines temporarily because the airline violated guidelines issued by the COVID-19 PTF.

The airlines from the Netherland, KLM and Emirates Airlines had insisted on conducting four hours prior to boarding rapid COVID-19 test before passengers are accepted on board.

The refusal of Nigeria to accede to the airlines using non-authorised health agency to carry out these tests led to their unilateral suspension of airlifting of passengers from Nigeria.

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