The Federal Government has begun the process of restarting international flights.
In a briefing on Thursday by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said approvals have been given for aviation authorities to commence the process for the resumption of international flights.
Mr. Aliyu said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other aviation agencies, as well as airlines, are to come up with a safe process through which international airlines can commence operations.
The PTF Coordinator said when international flight operations resume, passengers would arrive three hours before flights, to ensure that there is no crowding of the airports.
For international travel, we have made recommendations to the aviation industry to commence the process for reopening international airports provided all existing international and local COVID-19 protocols are in place.
“We have modified the protocol for passenger arrivals at the airports. Domestic passengers arriving at the airports are advised to arrive one hour before their flights and three hours before international flights when this restarts,” Mr Aliyu stated.
Mr Aliyu’s statement comes shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for another four weeks.
The PTF had met with the president on Wednesday and briefed him on the progress made so far in containing the spread of COVID-19, as well as making recommendations on how to retain the current phase of the response, with minor changes to address economic, socio-political, and health concerns.
The major changes being proposed are aimed at achieving the gradual re-opening of international air flights within established parameters. re-opening of rail transportation within established parameters, and the granting of permissions to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations.
Under the revised guidelines of the eased lockdown which will be maintained in the next four weeks, the current nationwide curfew from 10pm- 6am still stands.
Also, meetings for government officials and parastatals will continue to hold virtually.
While the ban on entertainment centers will be maintained, restrictions on recreational parks have been lifted for non-contact physical activities.
Passengers arriving for domestic flights can now arrive at least an hour and a half before flight, and three hours before the flight for international travelers.
Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha on Thursday reemphasized that there is a need for everyone to take responsibility while the nation goes into this extended phase of eased lockdown.
He also urged Nigerians to stop the stigmatization of persons who have contracted, been treated, and have been certified negative for COVID-19.