The United Kingdom’s Mission in Nigeria has announced plans to begin evacuating another set of British nationals from Saturday, amid COVID-19 crisis.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, over 2,000 foreign nationals from the US, Canada, Germany, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, South Africa, and France have been evacuated from Nigeria.
In a statement by the British High Commission on its verified Twitter page, the mission said that the Britons would be evacuated from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
The Mission added that to be eligible for all flights, the primary residence has to be in the UK.
Also, Intending evacuees are expected to pay for their seats and priority will be placed on those who have an underlying medical condition, which places them at greater risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19.
The UK Mission noted that the federal government had assured it that people who exceeded their authorised visa expiry date as a result of travel restrictions linked to COVID-19 would not be penalised.
The statement read in part: “There are currently no commercial options available to return to the UK from Nigeria. All airports in Nigeria are closed to all international commercial flights until 23 April.
“We know this concerning British people trying to leave Nigeria. The UK government has been working closely with airlines and has now secured agreement for charter flights to start from Nigeria to the UK, from both Abuja and Lagos.
“The Nigerian authorities have told us that people who exceed their authorised visa stays as a result of travel restrictions linked to COVID-19 will not be penalised as over-stayers when they depart.
“The evacuation process would continue till Monday, adding that more flights might follow if the already scheduled flight did not airlift all those intended to leave Nigeria.
“If you’re a short-term British traveller and believe you are in the vulnerable category you should express your interest in returning to the UK by emailing [email protected] as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.”
Currently, Nigeria has 373 cases of coronavirus; many of the cases are in Lagos and Abuja.