The Federal Government, yesterday, refuted the plan to begin enforcement of vaccine passports at nationwide airports beginning from December 1, 2021.
The denial was in response to claims that persons that have not been vaccinated would not have access to air travel, a measure that is fast gaining traction in Europe, America and some parts of Africa.x
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said though efforts are on to combat the Delta variant and keep the Nigerian public safe, there is no plan to bar air travellers on account of vaccination status.
Besides COVID-19 inoculation, the vaccine passport also includes personal details and health records of a traveller in a single electronic document.
Europe has already fixed vaccination as a mandatory travel requirement as part of measures to reopen safe travel and tourism in the region. Countries like the United States of America, China, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Mali, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among several others, have all toed the line.x
The Guardian had earlier reported that the vaccine passport policy draws a line between those that have taken the jab and those that have not, and between vaccinated-rich countries and poor ones, like Nigeria, that have barely kick-started vaccination, leading to the disenfranchisement of the unvaccinated and poor countries from international travel and tourism.
Public Affairs Manager of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, urged the public to discountenance a report by some local media that the Federal Government, through NCAA, has given a directive that from December 1, 2021, travellers without proof of vaccination would not be permitted to board both local and international flights.x
Adurogboye said: “We want to state categorically that no such directive emanated from the Federal Government through NCAA. Therefore, the authority is calling on the public to discountenance such news, as there is no iota of truth in it.”
He added that the authority would continue to support all Federal Government initiatives to curb the spread of the Delta variant.
“However, we expect strict adherence to safety protocols in and out of the airports by wearing our facemask, washing our hands periodically, using alcohol-based hand sanitiser, maintaining social distance and avoiding crowded space,” he added.x