As Nigeria plans on reopening its international airspace, we want to remind our travel enthusiast of the reality of international air travel during this pandemic.
The fact that the lockdown is easing around the world doesn’t mean the world is ready for tourism as usual. Barbados and Dubai are already extending open arms to international tourists. The catch? Mandatory adherence to COVID precautionary measures.
Read more about Travel and Tourism
However, many other places have decided it is unwise to invite Nigerians, in particular, within their borders. Here is a list of countries with travel bans involving Nigeria:
United Arab Emirates
Rumours had circulated on social media and Nigeria that visa renewal for UAE, Permanent Residents returning for approval, and tourist visas had been stopped. It also claimed all previously issued visas before August 3rd 2020 are invalid and all visas of those in presently in Dubai expires this week.
The UAE embassy in Nigeria has denied such claims. “Travel between the UAE and Nigeria has remained limited due to the closure of Nigerian airspace,” the embassy said. The travel restriction to UAE is only on the basis of reciprocity. Once Nigeria opens its airspace, UAE is more than willing to have Nigerians resume tourist activities.
Currently, the only way out of UAE is by evacuation flights, mostly via Air Peace Airlines and Emirates.
United States of America
Nigerians are known for frequently visiting the States. Before the pandemic, the US had placed travel restrictions on Nigerians. However, all commercial flights in and out of Nigeria were suspended because of the COVID travel ban.
As a result, plans to postpone or halt the student exchange programs are being discussed. There’s a possibility of foreign students being sent back to their home countries. Nigeria is level 3 on their travel advisory. The 9th and last evacuation flight for stranded Nigerians in the US is for 20th August 2020 with Ethiopian Airlines.
Sign up to the Connect Nigeria daily newsletter
European Union Countries
Before COVID, the procedures for Nigerians getting Schengen visas were tightened. Nigerians are fond of visiting France, Italy and Germany in Europe. When COVID started hitting hard, the EU closed their borders to all non-essential travellers. They allowed only those within the EU to inter-travel as lockdown eased in June.
In July, the European Union revised the list of countries they will grant entry included selected third world countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Rwanda and Tunisia. Unfortunately, Nigeria is not on that list. This travel ban, however, does not apply to travel to the UK. Again once our air space is open, visiting the UK is a go.
Most of the world is not available for tourism. Until our international air space is open, Nigeria too may not be entertaining non-essential travel. Prior to closing our air space, Nigeria also put travel bans on citizens from high-risk countries.
The only way in or out of Nigeria is by meeting the criteria for evacuation flights. Nigeria has evacuated people from US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, India, UAE, Turkey, Sudan, Uganda, Senegal, Niger, Lebanon, Pakistan, China, Kenya, Canada, Ghana, South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand.
Travel.State.Gov. US Dept. of State
Featured Image Source: CNN
Got a suggestion? Contact us: editor at connectnigeria dot com