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NCAA relaxes quarantine rules for indigenous airlines flying abroad

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has relaxed rules that subject local airlines and their crew to mandatory quarantine after travel to and from coronavirus high-risk countries.

The relaxation was contained in a new set of directives issued to operators in the country, entitled: “NCAA COVID-19 Guidelines on the Management of Crew Members.”

The move, The Guardian learnt, may not be unconnected with the recent row between Air Peace and public health authorities in an attempt to quarantine crewmembers shortly after the airline returned from China with medical supplies and doctors.

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NCAA Director-General of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, said it had “come to the notice of the apex regulatory body that some operators had their crew members placed in quarantine for several days after a short stay in areas considered as high risk, when in actual fact, they did not leave the aircraft during the respective temporary stay.”

The regulator stated that where crew members, maintenance or cargo and load specialised personnel are involved in flights with a short stay at the destination or in special flights, they “do not need to be under medical quarantine and observation after returning, provided they did not have an asymptomatic passenger or crew member or onboard and could make good pre-return preparations by strictly observing some requirements.”

He added: “Where possible, after returning to home base, but not later than 48 hours from the first contact with the suspected passenger, the respective crewmembers should be asked to take appropriate self-isolation measures pending the result of passenger’s test.

“If the test is positive, the respective crewmember(s) should be placed in quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the confirmed case.”

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