FLIGHTS between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will remain banned until March 20 as the ongoing dispute between the two countries over how best to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic continues.
On February 5, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority barred Emirates Airlines from flying into Nigeria, saying it flouted the government’s Covid-19 protocols. Government officials were unhappy about the fact that the airline introduced a rapid antigen test as a requirement for Dubai travellers against the Nigerian government’s negative polymerase chain reaction requirements.
In response to the government ban, the UAE retaliated, banning flights into Nigeria for several weeks. Over the last month, talks have been going on to resolve the dispute and it appears that both sides have agreed to keep the ban in place until March 20 when it will be lifted.
An Emirates spokesman said customers from both Abuja and Lagos would not be accepted for travel prior to or including this date. He added, however, that that Emirates flights from Dubai to Lagos and Abuja will continue as scheduled.
“In line with government directives, passenger services from Nigeria – Lagos and Abuja – to Dubai are temporarily suspended until 20 March 2021. Customers from both Abuja and Lagos will not be accepted for travel prior to or including this date and passengers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not allowed entry into the UAE, whether terminating in or connecting through Dubai,” he added.