Transit through Nigeria

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  • FivestarFred
    Participant

    I would like to transit through Lagos, Nigeria in a few weeks but I can’t find any information on the requirements in relation to Covid-19 for transit passengers.

    I will not be staying in Nigeria but I will have to collect my bags and recheck them in for my next flight which is 4hrs later. No interline agreement between the carriers. I have contacted Virgin Atlantic via their website but no response and I don’t want to be denied boarding at Heathrow.

    Does anyone know if I still need to fill in the same forms online or are transit passengers exempt please? I won’t have an address in Nigeria as I’m not staying there but the online forms for covid checks require all sections filling in before proceeding including addresses where the passenger will be quarantining and booking tests after the quarantine.

    Separately, I haven’t transited through Lagos before. Is 4hrs enough to go through immigration, collect bags and recheck please? I will be landing at 5AM.

    Many thanks in advance.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I’m a bit confused. Will you be in transit, or entering Nigeria?

    If you need to collect and re-check bags then you need to get landside, which normally means entry visa.


    FivestarFred
    Participant

    Transit. I land and leave 4hrs later. As I will be on separate tickets I have to pick up and recheck bags.

    It’s not a visa issue. With covid rules, online forms have to be filled in before departure and all passengers staying have to provide an address to quarantine and you can’t move past that page on the form until an address is provided. Furthermore you have to pay in advance for the tests during and after quarantine. None of this applies to me. There is no option to put transit.

    Just wondering if someone has done this transfer during covid and if there were issues at their departure airport or in Lagos.


    LaWhore
    Participant

    You don’t seem to understand that you collect baggage after you have cleared immigration and not before. There are no borderless transit facilities at Lagos airport and therefore you will not be able to board the aircraft without a Nigerian visa.


    FrDougal
    Participant

    Fred, unfortunately what you are describing is not a “transit”. I’m pretty sure such facilities do not even exist at LOS. You will be required to fully comply with Nigerian entry requirements which will include visas, C19 tests etc. And trust me, it is not an airport you want to fall fowl of policy unless you’ve deep pockets.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi there

    If not staying airside then you’ll need to clear immigration and re-check in. Best I can find on Nigeria is the below:

    *Testing / Screening on arrival: From Tuesday 4 May there will be no entry permitted for any non-Nigerians/non holders of permanent residence permits who have visited Brazil, India or Turkey in the 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria. This does not apply to transit passengers. Nigerians and permanent residence card holders who have travelled to Brazil, India and Turkey in the 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria will be required to undergo 7 days mandatory quarantine in a government-approved facility at the point-of entry city and at cost to the passenger. In addition such passengers will also face the following requirements (i) within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test (ii) if positive, the passenger shall be admitted to a government-approved treatment centre, in line with national treatment protocols (iii) If negative, the passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.

    For travel from all other countries, prior to departure, passengers travelling to Nigeria must complete the on-line pre-boarding health declaration at the Nigeria International Travel Portal. They must also have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their departure to Nigeria, and have uploaded their PCR test certificate to the on-line Travel Portal. Passengers must also carry evidence of the test and result when they travel. Only a COVID-19 PCR test is acceptable to the Nigerian authorities. Also before travel, passengers must book and pay for a repeat PCR test for day 7 of their arrival in Nigeria at the Nigeria International Travel Portal– evidence of the booking will be required on arrival. On arrival all passengers will be screened by Port Health Officials and be required to provide full contact details, including their address in Nigeria.

    The Nigerian government has said it will closely monitor whether passengers are following the quarantine measures and conducting the repeat PCR test. On 21 December, the Federal Government announced that it would impose sanctions on travellers to Nigeria who fail to take the repeat PCR test on day 7. You should arrange to take a private test.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FivestarFred
    Participant

    Thanks for your replies.

    LaWhore: I am well aware when baggage collection happens 🙂

    FrDougal: A lot of countries offer transit visas that are up to 3 days long and allow you to leave the airport… 🙂

    TimFTC: Thanks for that. I had seen that update. The bit about transit passengers is alas not definitive but I’m hoping I can rely on that. As mentioned before, this is not a visa issue as I have that already. This is simply the additional requirements for Covid-19 documentation that passengers who are entering the country need to take but transit passengers are potentially exempt from. As the pasted extract suggests, some transit passengers are exempt from certain rules. The key difference here is that they may have through checked luggage and so can just proceed to their next gate (if changing aircraft) without going landside (assuming this is possible in Lagos). I physically cannot fill in the forms even if I wanted to as I don’t have a local address there and don’t need one and have no need to prepay for tests I won’t need to take.

    In any case I’ll have all the covid documentation for my final destination which I can always use if necessary.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Transit. I land and leave 4hrs later. As I will be on separate tickets I have to pick up and recheck bags.

    It’s not a visa issue. With covid rules, online forms have to be filled in before departure and all passengers staying have to provide an address to quarantine and you can’t move past that page on the form until an address is provided. Furthermore you have to pay in advance for the tests during and after quarantine. None of this applies to me. There is no option to put transit.

    Just wondering if someone has done this transfer during covid and if there were issues at their departure airport or in Lagos.

    I still don’t follow. If you have to collect and recheck bags you need to pass immigration.

    As a result it seems to me you are not in transit but on two separate journeys and need the relevant papers to enter the country. If you have those then 4 hours would normally be enough (even in Lagos) but in covid times with extra checks it could be tight.


    DavidSmith2
    Participant

    I think the COVID situation has complicated, or more accurately confused the concept of transit. Transit can mean different things, in different circumstances, in different countries. Leaving aside the ‘transit of goods’ issue which is for another day, the concept of transit for individuals can be limited to airside transfer only. But it can also include landside transfer and even change of location (e.g. arrival at Heathrow, departure from Gatwick or Eurostar). These concepts are usually defined reasonably clearly.

    However the COVID requirements have not caught up to that level of clarity. Some countries are requiring tests or at least documentation, even for airside transits. Some are allowing landside transits without testing. But it is not always clear and not necessarily aligned with the transit status as defined by the respective immigration service. And it is not always a given that immigration staff (acting as agents for the health authorities in many cases) always know what the rules are.

    I would certainly try to avoid anything other than airside transfers, if at all possible, for the foreseeable future, but it looks like the OP does not have much choice. I have been through Lagos a couple of times, and Abuja quite a few more (pre-COVID) and was treated differently on almost every occasion.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    If nothing else, I’m curious as to where your journey starts and ends – I think most people would do everything they could to avoid connecting / transiting / flying through / Lagos.


    agsteele
    Participant

    Since you will go landside – even if Nigeria does this by a transit visa, you will have to comply with all regulations for your final destination as if you have entered Nigeria. Nigeria is currently Amber list for England so if returning to the UK you will need to quarantine at home.

    You will need a PCR test within 72 hours of your departure from Nigeria plus two PCR tests after returning to the UK. These need to be booked and paid for in advance. You will also need a Passenger Locator Form. If any of these are missing expect your airline to deny boarding.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#amber-list


    FivestarFred
    Participant

    Well I’m sitting at Lagos Airport and lived to tell the tale! Not sure anyone will benefit from this info but just to confirm you can transit given the conditions outlined in my original post.

    Before departure I tried everything including going to the High Commission where they said I’d be fine…

    Anyway, check-in at Heathrow was seamless. They didn’t bat an eyelid when I said I was transiting. They just checked my covid test and my onward flight details.

    On arrival at Lagos the officials pretty much just landed me and waved me through.

    So all’s well that (hopefully) ends a well. I have yet to get to my final destination and have to do the reverse in a few weeks.

    Lagos Airport in general is something else! Took three hours to get through transit! The bags took over an hour to emerge and premium tagged luggage meant nothing it seemed. Thankfully current conditions and 5am arrival meant the airport wasn’t particularly busy. I dread to think if it was…

    Thanks all for your inputs.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    That’s good. What is Lagos Airport like these days – corruption under control?


    FivestarFred
    Participant

    Nothing out of the ordinary…brazen requests to “tip” but that’s part and parcel of life…happens in many countries. Systems were down and so all airlines were handwriting the boarding passes adding to the delays. The airport desperately needs a makeover.

    I also had to transit in Accra and what a difference. Spanking new terminal and so organised. I’ve always loved Accra.

    Freetown my final destination on the other hand…


    DavidSmith2
    Participant

    Nothing out of the ordinary…brazen requests to “tip” but that’s part and parcel of life…happens in many countries. Systems were down and so all airlines were handwriting the boarding passes adding to the delays. The airport desperately needs a makeover.

    I also had to transit in Accra and what a difference. Spanking new terminal and so organised. I’ve always loved Accra.

    Freetown my final destination on the other hand…

    Always nice to hear positive comments about my ‘home’ airport, Accra. It is certainly very decent although baggage reclaim is still pretty chaotic, even in the new terminal. Good luck in Freetown though – especially the boat across to the city!

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