By Lawani Mikairu
The Federal government Thursday rescinded the earlier directives by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, that any passenger without valid Yellow card should not be allowed to board flight in any Nigeria international airport.
The government has issued a new directive to all airlines operating regional and international flights into Nigeria to allow passengers without International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), known as Yellow cardboard henceforth.
Confirming the new order, the General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye said the new directive supersedes the earlier one issued on compulsory possession of Yellow Card. “However, passengers are advised that they will be vaccinated accordingly at Points of Entry and the process for obtaining the e-yellow card will be initiated”, the new directive says.
Recall Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, had earlier yesterday said passengers without valid Yellow card can no longer be allowed to board flights at Nigeria international airports.
According to the authority, this is in line with the directive from the Federal Ministry of Health that has directed airlines operating International and regional flights to commence the full implementation of the use of the Yellow card as a requirement for travel.
In a letter to the affected airlines signed by the General Manager, Aeromedical Standards, Dr. Wilfred Haggai on behalf of the Director-General, NCAA explains “that this is coming on the heels of the review of the operationalization of Nigeria point of entry policy on the prevention and control of cross border transmission of yellow fever”.
According to the letter, “the review of the policy has arisen because of the compelling priority of the ongoing entry screening at points of entry by Port Health Services for covid19”.
“The entry screening of passengers due to COVID-19 outbreak will be prioritized by the port health services until the outbreak has been effectively contained.”
To this end, passengers coming into the country without documented proof of vaccination against yellow fever and valid yellow card be allowed to board. Their case will be reviewed on arrival.
And for passengers departing Nigeria, a valid yellow card will be required for boarding.
“The NCAA has therefore called on all airlines to communicate the policy to their passengers. The policy review, took effect 11th March, 2020”.
” All passengers coming to Nigeria who do not have a yellow card are to be allowed to board. When they arrive Nigeria the Port Health Services will determine whether they require vaccination for Yellow fever or not,” the letter said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service at the Lagos International airport has commenced the enforcement of the yellow card directive, passengers without the card are turned back at the immigration counter if it is not part of the document requested.