COVID-19: FG Grants Gradual Resumption Of International Flights

SGF Boss Mustapha OnoBello

The Federal Government has begun the process of reopening International airports for operations and train services across the country as COVID-19 cases continues to be recorded daily.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), disclosed this while speaking at their daily briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

According to NAN, they approved the gradual reopening as part of the decisions reached at the end of the second extension of the second phase of eased lockdown.

He said, “It’s important to ensure that restrictions are not completely relaxed in order to control transmission. It is also important that at this Community Transmission Phase of the pandemic sub-national governments step up to take more responsibilities by owning the response.

To sustain gains already made, therefore, the PTF recommended to the President the retention of the current phase of the response with minor changes to address economic, socio-political and health concerns. It is, however, important to inform you that the major changes being proposed are aimed at achieving the following:

“Gradual re-opening of international air flights within established parameters; Re-opening of rail transportation within established parameters”.

Mustapha also granted permission to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations and allowing civil servants from Grade Level 12 to resume work, and also the opening of recreational parks for supervised exercises.

Also speaking, the Coordinator of PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said the PTF had communicated to the aviation ministry to begin processes of reopening international flights.

Aliyu also noted that one of the new requirements would be to ensure that international passengers arrived three hours before departure to ensure proper checks before takeoff. He further stated that if all requirements from the aviation sector were made the resumption of international flights would be a matter of weeks and not months.

Answering a question from the media, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, explained that the aviation sector was ready to open any moment. Sirika also explained that international flights would open as soon as it was safe to operate as all efforts were being put in place to ensure the reopening in weeks and not in months.

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