All You Need to Know About the Current COVID-19 Travel and Social Gatherings Guidelines

The Lagos State government reports that as of Sunday, December 5, 2021, the state recorded 78,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this figure, 71,977 have recovered and 612 are currently being managed actively. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen about 6,066 patients admitted into various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos; with 686 registered fatalities.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said individuals who refuse to comply with current guidelines on travel protocols will be prosecuted. This means that travellers, in and out of Lagos State, who refuse to submit themselves for mandatory tests will risk prosecution by the courts and blacklisting of their passports for one year. He said,

All foreigners that flout the rules would be subjected to possible deportation. Therefore, I implore all intending inbound passengers to perform their required tests at any of the private laboratories within the Lagos State Private Laboratory Consortium as and when due.

Guidelines on travel protocols

In a report released by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the current guidelines on travel protocols cover all passengers arriving in Nigeria They include:

  • A COVID-19 PCR test must be done within 48hrs before departure.
  • There must be a Post arrival Day 2 COVID-19 PCR test.
  • All partially and unvaccinated individuals to self-isolate for seven days following arrival into the country and a Day 7 release PCR test.
  • All outbound passengers to demonstrate evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19.
  • Travellers must demonstrate evidence of a Negative PCR test result within 48hrs from the time of boarding a flight out of Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu also said regulations of day 2 and day 7 tests for inbound passengers for international flights are mandatory to assist Lagos State monitor the inflow of positive passengers, which account for a verifiable source of waves and community spread of the virus.

He warned against procuring fake COVID test results and/or vaccination cards for travel purposes by outbound passengers. He disclosed that,

The State Government is currently working with the NCDC, DSS and the Nigerian Police Force to investigate and bring to book the criminal gangs involved in this reprehensible activity.

He implored the public to avoid patronising or obtaining fake COVID test results and/or vaccination cards as offenders with be liable to prosecution and stiff penalties. On how he intends to mitigate these actions, he said;

Our State Mobile Courts will be used to prosecute all those involved in flouting the regulations; as well as those engaged in the fraudulent production of fake covid test results and vaccination certificates. To this end, the Lagos State Ministry of Health is collaborating with various enforcement stakeholders from the Ministry of Justice and the Task Force to ensure prompt prosecution of these individuals.

On guidelines for social events and gatherings during the Yuletide season

The governor also issued guidelines for Yuletide social events and gatherings, noting,

  • All Social Events must be duly registered to obtain Event Safety Clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission website before holding, and the guidelines set out below must be strictly adhered to.
  • Where possible events should be held outdoors.
  • The occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 60% of the maximum design capacity of the event centre.
  • Every attendee of a social gathering MUST present their Vaccination Cards or digital bar code page showing at least first dose but preferably double dose full vaccination.
  • In unvaccinated people, a negative PCR within 72 hours will be an exemption.
  • Everybody, irrespective of vaccination status, MUST be subject to a Rapid Diagnostic test (Antigen) to be conducted at the event venue or within 24hrs before the event at designated laboratories. (Request for rapid tests at the venue requires an application through the Safety Commission).
  • Under 18 years of age are unvaccinated and the above applies.
  • Guests and service providers with high temperatures (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground.
  • All guests and service providers at the event must wear a nose mask or face shield before entry.
  • All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitisers after which temperature checks should be carried out.
  • Hand sanitisers are to be positioned at the entry point and different spots within the venue.

Written by Taiwo Afolayan

Taiwo is a multinational award-winning Art & IT Consultant and a Certified Management Consultant. He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fashionistar Africa, Founder of Argitech Limited, and an SDGs Advocate. He has over 10 years of experience in journalism, digital artistry, analytics, and photography. He enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and cycling.

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