The federal government has placed a temporary restriction on non-Nigerian travellers who have visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days of their intended departure for Nigeria.
Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said in a statement on Sunday that this is a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of the virus.
However, the travel ban does not apply to passengers who only transited through these countries.
Mustapha said the new travel advisory would take effect from May 4, subject to review after an initial period of four weeks.
There has been a surge in new COVID-19 infections in these countries in the past few days, with India having more COVID-19 cases in the last one week than anywhere else in the world.
Brazil also on Thursday became the second country to officially top 400,000 COVID-19 deaths, with 100,000 lives lost in the month of April alone.
Turkey, currently into its first national coronavirus lockdown, reportedly has the highest infection rate in Europe.
According to Mustapha, government will sanction airlines and passengers who fail to comply with the new travel directives.
“Airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger. Non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the airline.
“Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit shall undergo seven days of mandatory quarantine in a government-approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger.”
He also said that passengers arriving in Nigeria from other destinations will mandatorily observe a seven-day self-isolation at their final destination.
They will carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day seven at a selected laboratory and will be monitored for compliance by appropriate authorities.
He said that passengers who refuse to comply with directions of Port-Health staff, security agencies or evade quarantine will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.