Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to call off the travel ban imposed on all direct flights from the UAE following disagreement over rapid COVID-19 test requirements.
According to the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, both nations have reached an agreement to end the travel ban which will pave the way for Emirates to resume flights to Abuja and Lagos.
Nigerian authorities had imposed a ban on Emirates in March because the airline had resorted to use rapid COVID-19 tests on customers before they were allowed to board flights to Dubai.
The resumption of fights by Emirates is cheering news. Dubai hosts several international events that draw huge participants from Nigeria including GISEC, the most influential cybersecurity event in the Middle East and Africa, holding from 31 May – 2 June, 2021. IT Edge News is GISEC’s media partner.
The airline introduced the rapid testing requirement as an added measure to address concerns that some passengers were presenting fraudulent PCR certificates to get around existing pre-flight testing rules.
Despite warning from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Emirates had informed its passengers planning to travel from Nigeria that they would also have to take a third rapid test within four hours of departure which irked authorities in Abuja.
The Nigerian government then imposed the ban because the testing was deemed an affront. Also, the partner the airline gave the contract to was not approved by the government.