Nigeria will reopen its airports for international flights from Aug. 29, its aviation minister said on Monday.
The airports have been closed since March 23 to all but essential international flights as part of the country’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said four flights would begin landing daily in Lagos, and four in Abuja, with strict protocols. He did not say where they would be coming from.
“It is safe to fly, if we observe all those protocols in place,” Sirika said at a briefing in Abuja.
Africa’s most populous nation, which recorded its first confirmed coronavirus case in late February, now has 49,068 confirmed cases and 975 deaths.
It resumed domestic flights on July 8 and Sirika said there had been no confirmed virus transmissions on flights.
Passengers on international flights will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test in order to board and pay for another test after they arrive in Nigeria, Sirika said.
Glad to announce the resumption of international flights from the 29th of August, 2020. Beginning with Lagos and Abuja as we did with the domestic flight resumption. Protocols and procedures will be announced in due course. We thank you for your patience.??????????
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) August 17, 2020
They will also be required to fill in an online health questionnaire and present it to authorities when they land.
Those currently returning to Nigeria aboard repatriation flights are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, and authorities retain passports for that period. Sirika said on Monday they could “gradually” stop keeping passengers’ passports.