Passengers travelling abroad through Nigeria’s airport terminals are required to arrive five hours before departure to undergo COVID-19 protocols, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has said.
The minister said this on Saturday at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, when announcing some of the measures introduced for the reopening of the country’s airports closed in March following outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Sirika, who led other members of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to inspect facilities put in place at the airport ahead of its reopening, said domestic travellers on their part would need to arrive three hours before departure for processing.
According to him, this was in a bid to reduce sources of contamination of the virus.
Sirika said that physical distancing had been established at various points of the airport, adding that this was done by marking the floors at the airports.
He said that physical distancing would now be required to be maintained right from the point of getting down from the vehicle that conveyed one to the airport.
“We will provide polythene bags where passengers put all their things for protocol and we will ensure there is a minimal contact by the person screening you,’’ Sirika said.
The minister said that the number of seats at the departure lounge of the MMIA had been reduced to 50 from 500 in order to maintain social distancing.
He further said that passengers must comply strictly to the wearing of face masks before entering the airports while aviation authorities would ensure provision of alcohol based sanitiser at the airports.
The minister added that toilets at the airports were also COVID-19 compliant, stressing that everything was being done to minimise physical contact.
Sirika said that the pilots, engineers, traffic controllers and catering staff, among others, at the airports were now certified and licensed to carry out certain activities only when they have the valid clearance.
He said that the aircrafts must be airworthy with full compliance to COVID-19 protocols, adding that the airports were set to be reopened.
He said that there would be palliatives for operators of airlines because they had lost a lot.
Dr Sani Aliyu, the PTF Coordinator, expressed satisfaction over full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the airport.
He said it showed that the airport was ready for reopening with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Also speaking, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said members of PTF were at the Murtala International Airport to inform Nigerians on the new protocols and processes guiding the reopening of airports.
Other members of the PTF who were in Lagos to observe adherence to COVID-19 protocols were Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunibe Mamora; and Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Uwajiuba. (NAN)