LAGOS, Nigeria 

Nigeria has announced new travel measures for air passengers coming to the country from the UK and South Africa where a new variant of coronavirus was discovered recently.

Introducing the new measures Thursday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Sani Aliyu, the national coordinator for presidential task force on coronavirus, said: “Effective from Monday, December 28th, all passengers coming into the country from the UK and South Africa on direct flights must use the Nigerian international travel portal to register, fill in the health questionnaire and must upload a negative COVID-19 PCR result with a validity of more than five days.”

He also said all air passengers from the two countries must pay for the coronavirus PCR test, adding travelers failing to comply with these measures “will not be allowed to board flights.”

Nigerian Deputy Health Minister Olorunnimbe Mamora said the number of air passengers testing positive for coronavirus had increased from 129 last week to 270 this week. He said arrivals from the European countries had also doubled recently despite upsurge in the COVID-19 cases in those countries.

Since the virus was first reported in March, Nigeria has confirmed 1,242 COVID-19-related deaths, 81,963 infections, and 69,651 recoveries in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, according to figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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