Nigeria’s Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika on Wednesday confirmed that the government will begin reopening the country’s airports from July 8, reported Anadolu Agency.
The decision to re-open the airports comes after a three-month lull due to the corona virus outbreak. The Nigerian government had imposed several restrictions and shut its airports to non-essential flights in March, to check the spread of COVID-19. The government had previously planned to reopen the airports twice but ended up with postponing the decision.
In a tweet posted on Wednesday night, Mr. Sirika said flights in Nigeria will initially resume between the capital Abuja and Lagos. He disclosed that only the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos will begin operations on July 8. Airports in Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri will resume operations on July 11, and domestic flights at other airports will resume on July 15.
The aviation minister said passengers looking to travel out of the country will have to wait a bit longer as the dates for the restart of international flights into and out of the country will be announced later.
“Passengers are highly advised to follow all the safety guidelines and protocols put in place to ensure that the airports don’t become channels of infection for the dreaded coronavirus,” Mr. Sirika said.
He assured that the government will do all within its powers to ensure a rapid recovery of the aviation industry.
As of Wednesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria had crossed 26,484, with 603 deaths and 10,152 recoveries, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.
COVID-19, which originated in China’s Wuhan last December, has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. The pandemic has killed over 515,000 people worldwide, with more than 10.6 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 5.4 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.