Nigeria is reopening the Lagos and Abuja airports for international flights in and out of the country on the 5th of September 2020. This comes almost two months after the resumption of domestic flight operations. The country closed its airports on the 23rd of March to contain the spread of the new coronavirus in the country. According to Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, both international airports will be receiving four flights per day with the travelers subjected to high level of screening.
Although the Minister did not disclose where the flights will be coming from, flights from countries like the United States, Britain, Germany, China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan have been temporarily suspended since 20th of March due to the high rates of infection in those countries.
For the reopening, all passengers will have to show test results declaring them free of the novel coronavirus before boarding and also pay for another test when they arrive Nigeria. They must have also filled a health questionnaire before boarding and submit it when they arrive the country.
In the meantime, Nigeria was noticeably omitted from the list of countries qualified to enter into the member countries of the European Union.
Where Nigerians Can Fly To
Nigerians will not believe their luck. They can fly into most of their top destinations -the countries they usually travel to for holidays, to visit family members or do business. While nationals of European countries like France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy etc. are not allowed to fly into America, Nigerians are free to visit according to information on travel restrictions on the website of the American Centre for Disease Control. Nigerians can also visit England.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has a new rule that states that countries with 20 cases per 100,000 citizens in a 7-day period are banned from entering. This is equivalent to 36,000 cases per 180,000,000 (total number of people) in a week for Nigeria. Nigeria has recorded, in the past 14 days, only 5,278 cases making passengers from the country overqualified for entry into the UK. So Nigerians with negative coronavirus status can travel to the UK for now.
The United States of America
The United States’ rules are rather relaxed for a country with 5.84 million cases of infection. The countries’ airports are open to passengers who are free of the coronavirus from all countries except the nationals from Brazil, the UK, Ireland, European Union’s Schengen area, Iran and China- countries deemed to have high rates of coronavirus infection. Travelers that have been to the banned countries 14 days prior arrival in the US would be quarantined.
Other Countries Nigerians can visit
Nigerians are increasingly wanderlust, travelling to all sorts of exotic destinations outside the traditional ones as we wrote about in our story. For these adventurous Nigerians, here is a list of other destinations they can visit:
The Southeast Asian country with a population of 15 million people has only 273 cases, with just 10 currently active. Known for attracting tourists [6.6 million tourists visited in 2019], the country might be looking to use its reputation to cash in on the pandemic. It requires 3-day prior arrival test result to prove negative status. A retest will be done on arrival and a deposit of $3,000 dollars must be paid by all in-coming tourists to cover potential costs of COVID-19 associated tests, possible quarantine, or, grimly enough, funeral event.
The small island will grant a 30-day visa with the exemption of isolation. Before boarding flight, travelers must fill health declaration form and mask wearing is compulsory in the course of the flight. Travelers who show symptoms on arrival will be tested.
It requires PCR tests on arrival, compulsory observance of hygiene and social distancing protocols. 5-day minimum stay and the use of only government approved accommodations.
The Turkish government has announced that it will resume flights on September one to cities like Tehran, Vancouver, Marrakesh, Durban, Lagos and Abuja among others. Presentation of COVID-19 negative tests are not necessary for entry into the country. Upon arrival at the Istanbul Airport, the authorities will hand over an information form to travelers in which they will enter their health details. Any passengers displaying observable symptoms will be immediately subjected to hospitalization.
Mexico requires arrivers who display symptoms to self-isolate.
UAE (only Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah)
The UAE requires valid insurance policy from arrivers. Also, health declaration form must be filled before embarking on flight. Health screenings will be performed on all arrivers and necessary steps will be taken on positively tested individuals.
With only 509 cases, Tanzania is one of the countries most spared by the ravaging pandemic. Nigerians will have the opportunity to travel once flights resume as Zanzibar eased flight restrictions on June 7. That however does not mean they get a free pass. Travelers will have to undergo enhanced health screening upon arrival in the county.
The island nation became open on July 15. It requires a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours prior to travel, acceptable to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Other countries that Nigerians may fly to are as of August 19th
Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, French Polynesia, Jamaica, Mexico, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, St. Barts, St. Martin, Turks and Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands, Dominica. It is important to note that some of these countries mentioned may subject travelers to a 2-week quarantine on arrival regardless of their COVID-19 status.