Spain Closes To Unvaccinated U.S. Travelers Following Netherlands, Norway, Italy And Others - FORBES
Following a recent recommendation by the EU Council to tighten entry restrictions on travelers from the U.S., Spain has decided to ban non-vaccinated U.S. travelers from entering the country, except for absolutely essential purposes.
The decision by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, removes the United States from the list of epidemiologically safe third countries whose travelers do not have to meet the standard Covid travel restrictions for non EU/EEA arrivals.
Americans had been able to enter Spain without restrictions since last June when, in a bid to help its hard hit tourism industry, the country added the U.S. to its low-risk travel list.
From this week, until new updates, according to Spain and Andorra’s embassy, travelers from the U.S.—and a handful of other third countries with worsening Covid figures—must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.
“Effective September 6, 2021, U.S. citizens can travel from the United States to Spain on non-essential travel, (such as tourism) if they show proof of vaccination. Please read the detailed information on the Spain Ministry of Health’s website,” advises the Embassy.
Additionally, U.S. citizens travelling from the United States to Spain must present upon arrival in Spain a QR code generated through the Spain Travel Health portal, obtained through the website or by downloading the “SpTH app” in Google Play Store or iTunes App Store for each traveler, regardless of their age.
Foreigners to activate SIMs every six months, says NCC - PUNCH
BY Sami Tunji
Foreigners exempted from enrolling for the National Identity Number will have to request for Subscriber Identity Module activation every six months up to a period of two years.
The Nigerian Communications Commission disclosed this in its new draft for ‘Business Rules and Operational Processes for Implementation of the National Policy for SIM activation, Replacement and Other Key Telecommunications Operational Processes.
The report said, “SIM activations for foreigners exempted from enrolling for NIN shall be configured for a period of six months in the first instance and can be renewed further upon request and where the visa is not for a stay of two years and above.”
It added, “Foreigners validly transiting through Nigeria or are employed in or reside in Nigeria for less than 24 months are exempted from the mandatory use of NIN requirement. Persons in this category need to provide justification that they will be residing in Nigeria for less than two years.”
It said if such foreigner failed to request for SIM activation at the end of the six-month period, the SIM would be deactivated.
For foreigners staying in the country for more than two years, it is required for them to register for NIN as well as fully register their SIMs.
“NIN is mandatory for foreigners with legal residency status or those living in Nigeria for two years and above. For those who do not already have a NIN, mobile network operators shall capture the resident’s details for NIN issuance as part of the NIN enrolment process, upon presentation of resident’s permits,” it stated.
The Punch had earlier reported that foreigners not staying in Nigeria for up to two years do not need a NIN to register SIM cards, according to the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
FG relaxes restriction on foreign travellers without COVID-19 test payment evidence - PUNCH
BY Sodiq Oyeleke
The Federal Government has relaxed the restriction on foreign travellers without evidence of payment for their COVID-19 PCR test.
In a memo by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, foreign airlines were asked to board passengers without evidence of payment for day seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code/permit to fly.
The memo dated September 11, 2021, and issued by Director-General of NCAA, Musa Nuhu, was titled “Permission for airlines to board passengers travelling to Nigeria who are unable to show evidence of payment for day seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code/permit to fly”.
Nuhu said the decision was taken in view of the challenges some travellers to Nigeria are experiencing while trying to fill their Health and Travel history into Nigeria’s International Travel portal.
Earlier, foreign travellers were required to show proof of payment for their COVID-19 PCR test before they are boarded.
He, however, said such passengers would be required to make payment for the repeat day-7 COVID-19 PCR test at their destination airport in Nigeria.
The memo read, “The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has been made aware of challenges some travelers are experiencing while trying to fill their Health and travel history into the Nigeria International Travel Portal.
Airlines are thereby permitted to board any traveller to Nigeria who is unable to either pay for the repeat Day Seven COVID-19 PCR test or generate the paid QR code/ permit to fly.
“Such passengers will be required to make payment for the repeat Day Seven COVID-19 PCR test at their destination airport in Nigeria.
“Holders of Diplomatic passports and Children aged 10 years and below who are unable to complete NITP are to be allowed to board the flight.
“Their health declaration and travel history will be captured by the Port Health Services (PHS) at the destination airport.
“Airlines are to bring this information to the knowledge of the passenger and ensure strict compliance with above-stated conditions.”
UK ditches plans for vaccine passports at crowded venues - ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON (AP) — Authorities in Britain have decided not to require vaccine passports for entry into nightclubs and other crowded events in England, Britain's health secretary said Sunday, reversing course amid opposition from some of the Conservative government’s supporters in Parliament.
Health Minister Sajid Javid said the government has shelved the idea of vaccine passports for now but could reconsider the decision if COVID-19 cases rise exponentially once again.
“We’ve looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports,’’ Javid told the BBC.
The U-turn came just days after both the government’s vaccines minister and the culture secretary suggested that vaccine passports would still be necessary, despite growing opposition from lawmakers.
In particular, members of the governing Conservative Party have objected to such passports as an unacceptable burden on businesses and an infringement on residents' human rights.
The idea of requiring people to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test for COVID-19 has been uncomfortable for many in Britain, where people generally aren’t required to carry identification documents.
Other European nations are using similar documents showing peoples' vaccination status as a way to re-open society — although the rules vary widely. Each of Germany’s 16 states has slightly different rules on what is required, but in general, people are required to show a negative test, vaccine or recovery certificate before being allowed to participate in indoor dining, drinking or dancing.
Passes are required in France when frequenting bars, cafes, restaurants, museums and other places where the public gathers and for long-distance travel on buses, trains and planes. In Italy, where discos have not re-opened since the start of the pandemic, so-called Green Passes are required to dine indoors, attend a concert or for domestic travel by trains, buses, planes or ferries, although local transport is exempt.
NCAA Okays Foreign Airlines To Board Passengers Without COVID-19 Payment - LEADERSHIP
Foreign airlines operating in the nation’s airports have been permitted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to board passengers travelling to Nigeria who are unable to show evidence of payment for day-7 Covid-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code or permit to fly.
This was contained in a letter to all foreign airlines signed by the director general, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, dated September 11, 2021 and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday.
The letter stated that the granting of the permit was hinged on the difficulties being experienced by travellers to Nigeria in trying to fill their health and travel history on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).
According to the letter, the presidential steering committee on COVID-19 has been made aware of the challenges.
The letter with reference number, NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/317 and titled, “Permission for airlines to board passengers travelling to Nigeria who are unable to show evidence of payment for day-7 Covid-19 PCR test or generate paid QR code/permit to fly”, noted that travellers to Nigeria are experiencing difficulties while trying to fill the Health and travel history into the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).
According to the document personally signed by the NCAA DG, holders of diplomatic passports and children aged 10 years, unable to complete the NITP are to be allowed to board the flight.
He, however, said the health declaration and travel history will be captured by the Port Health Services (PHS) at the destination airport.
“The presidential steering committee on Covid-19 has been made aware of challenges some travellers to Nigeria are experiencing while trying to fill their health and travel history into the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).
“Airlines are hereby permitted to board any traveller to Nigeria who is unable to either pay for the repeat day 7 Covid-19 PCR test or generate the paid QR code / Permit to fly. Such passengers will be required to make payment for the repeat day 7 COVID 19 PCR test at their destination airport in Nigeria.”
“Holders of diplomatic passports and children aged 10 years and below who are unable to complete the NITP are to be allowed to board the flight. Their health declaration and travel history will be captured by the port health services (PHS) at the destination airport.
“Airlines are to bring this information to the knowledge of their passengers and ensure strict compliance with the above stated conditions,” it reads.
“Airlines are to bring this information to the knowledge of their passengers and ensure strict compliance with the above stated conditions.”
Air Travel to Outside Asia to Recover Faster Than Within Region - BLOOMBERG
(Bloomberg) -- International air travel beyond Asia is expected to recover sooner than between countries within the region given the different Covid-19 vaccination rates and continued strict border measures imposed by governments, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
Many Asian countries have tightened measures in recent months to contain the spread of the delta variant, Subhas Menon, director general of the 14-member AAPA, said during a briefing Monday. There will be some recovery for places where vaccination is higher, he said.
“Inter-regional travel can take place because many places in the West are already opening travel from the Asia-Pacific region for the vaccinated,” Menon said. “Resources are constrained and the supply of vaccines is also constrained. So intra-regional travel will be held back for a while longer, hopefully not too long beyond the end of 2021.”
Some countries in Asia are shifting away from Covid-Zero strategies and adopting a policy of living with the virus, backed by widespread vaccination, as they try to revive economies that have suffered from lengthy lockdowns. Singapore is taking steps to reopen and last week started allowing short-term, vaccinated visitors from Germany and Brunei.
“It is hard to say when the recovery will take place,” Menon said. “Pent-up demand is there. We just need the right settings.”
Troops On Red Alert In Kaduna, Katsina, Niger As Bandits Flee Zamfara - LEADERSHIP
Following renewed military operations in Zamfara and Kastina states, security forces are at a heightened state of watchfulness in border communities to check fleeing bandits from escaping the states.
In Niger State, a joint security camp set up to track fleeing bandits from infiltrating the state has killed 40 of them.
Government sources hinted that the bandits-prone states have resolved to increase security around forest reserves in the boundaries of their respective states
A security source told LEADERSHIP yesterday that in view of the new resolve, operational plans are ongoing to make it difficult for the bandits to set up camps in the forests.
Consequently, at the weekend fleeing bandits suspected to be from Kastina and Zamfara state were chased out of Kamuku, Allawa and the forest adjoining Mariga local government area in Niger State.
It was learnt at the weekend that the joint operations were sponsored by the neighbouring states of Kaduna, Kastina and Zamfara in a renewed inter-state cooperation to fight banditry.
The security sources hinted that “the joint operations at the weekend saw to the killing of 40 of the bandits fleeing the ongoing military operation in Zamfara and Katsina states.
“We took the offensive to them following a tipoff and we set up before they could set up along the forests, and in all the operations at the weekend, 40 of them were killed. Some of them escaped with gunshot wounds and we recovered some of their arms and ammunition.
According to the source, “Unlike in the past, with the new collaboration, there is synergy among us. Now we know when they will be fleeing from one operation and the way to make sure they will not set up camp to abduct people for ransom.”
LEADERSHIP recalls that Governor Nasir el-Rufai had said in Minna recently that “the problem of banditry and insurgence has been around for a while. The governor of Niger state and I have, more than two and half years ago, presented what we felt were the solutions to banditry activities in our states.
“My advice to the new service chiefs is to look at what has been recommended and what has been done by their predecessors. So, what the new service chiefs need to do is to build on the foundation build by their predecessors.
Niger State governor Abubakar Sani Bello, on his part, has been very consistent in calling for inter-state collaborations and holding talks with his northwest and north central counterparts.
We’re Getting Results, says Katsina Govt
In Katsina State, the special adviser to the governor on security matters, Ibrahim Ahmed Katsina, told LEADERSHIP yesterday that the measures taken to combat insecurity are yielding positive results in the fight against banditry, thanking the people for complying with government directives.
He said the government would continue to do its best to put to an end to banditry and other related crimes and criminality in the state.
Investigation by LEADERSHIP revealed that some bandits who escaped from the ongoing military onslaught in Zamfara State now regrouping in Safana and Danmusa local government areas of Katsina State.
Credible sources said the bandits were forced to relocate from some villages in Zamfara to the area because of hunger and hardship.
According to him, the bandits’ presence in the areas is causing panic and tension as people no longer go to their farms, and they fear the hoodlums would try to invade their community in search of food.
He gave the affected villages as Gobirawa, Guxurawa, Gora, Hankibiri, Kabuke, Dandire, Malama, Kaiga Mara Zafarawa and Katsina in Danmusa local government.
He called on the government and security agencies to come to their aid as a matter of urgency to protect the people on that axis.
Katsina State government has recently taken several measures as part of the containment tactics agreed to by the Northwest states to tackle bandits’ attacks and other nefarious activities bedeviling the zone.
The last measure was the shutdown of mobile network services in the 13 local government areas of the state, including Danmusa and Safana.
We Are Alert To Influx From Zamfara – Police
The Kaduna Police Command has said there is no room for alarm as the Command is aware of an influx of people from Zamfara State following the offensive against bandits in the state.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Mohammed Jalige, the Kaduna State police Commissioner has ordered all the police sectors to be on the alert as to movement of suspicious persons into the state.
He said, “The police are fully aware that the bandits may want to use Kaduna State among other neighbouring states as a hideout, but be assured that the police is not going to leave any stone unturned to ensure that they don’t have any hiding place in the state.”
According to him, the police had been ordered, amongst others, to be suspicious of motorists into the state.
He called on the citizens to be watchful of their surroundings and report suspicious persons and movements to the security agencies for prompt action.
Military Disowns Gory Pictures On Zamfara Operations
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed a report of trending gory pictures with the caption “Alhamdulillah. ZamfaraMustSecure” purporting to be from the ongoing military operations against banditry in Zamfara State.
The director defence information, Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, in a statement, said the allegation contained in the publication is false and malicious and has no link whatsoever with the operations being conducted by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
He said while it is true that the Armed Forces are currently conducting a successful military operation against bandits and kidnappers in line with its constitutional roles, “these operations are conducted in strict compliance with the rules of armed conflicts, utmost professional manner, strict adherence to rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights and dignity.”
He said the viral pictures being circulated had nothing in common with the ongoing operations.
“This callous action of linking ongoing operations with falsehood is deliberate and thus seeks to tarnish the good image and reputation of the AFN.
“For the record, the AFN conducts a fortnightly defence media operation brief in which pictures of the operations are displayed to compliment achievements in the ongoing operations. Any attempt therefore to portray the AFN in bad light as a crude force is unacceptable and unpatriotic,” he said.
He therefore, urged the general public to disregard the gory pictures, adding that the AFN will not rest on its oars in performing the constitutional mandate of ensuring that the nation remains safe and peaceful for all law-abiding citizens.
Also yesterday, the DHQ said it will not comment on ongoing military operations.
Defence spokesman Major General Sawyerr, while speaking with LEADERSHIP, queried why the Nigerian media keep questioning military operations and advised against such attitude.
He said questioning military operations gives out vital information to the adversaries.
“We don’t speak on our operations when they are going on. We planned an operation that has cornered these people and we are achieving results.
“By inquisitive questioning of military operations, we are giving out our strategies,” he said.
Speaking further, he said, “They said we are not doing anything, we are doing something now and they said the people are running; let us allow operations to end.”
31 Bethel Students Still In Captivity 68 Days After – CAN
Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed dissatisfaction over what it described as silence of Kaduna State government on the fate of the 31 students of Bethel Baptist High School still in kidnappers’ custody.
CAN queried the state government on the outcome of the military operation the government said was ongoing to root out the kidnappers from their hideouts.
The bandits had on 5th July, 2021 stormed the Baptist College located on Kaduna-Kachia road and kidnapped 121 students.
The students were later released in batches, with 31 of the students still in the bandit’s den 67 days after.
In a statement issued yesterday by its chairman, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, CAN demanded the immediate rescue of the 31 students from the kidnappers.
According to the CAN chairman, “Our Government has abandoned the 31 Bethel Baptist High school, Damishi, Kaduna, children in the bush with bandits.
“The silence about the 31 Baptist High School, children still in the hands of their captors is bad and condemnable.
“These children were taken away from their school on 5th July 2021. It is 67 days today and our leaders are silent as if all is well when truly all is not well. How can it be well when parents of these 31 children have not known sleep for these 67 days? Any caring leader will also not sleep. These children should be released or rescue without delay.
“We all know that Kaduna State Government closed down schools for over a month claiming that the military will go after bandits and have again asked all schools to reopen without bringing back our children.
“What happened with the military exercise that led to the closure of schools? Was it just another drama to divert the attention of parents and those sympathizing with the parents from the real situation?”
According to him, the church in Kaduna State will not keep quiet till all the children and everyone in captivity is released and returned home.
Anglican Primate Seeks More Openness From Military, Politicians On Insecurity
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Revd. Henry Ndukuba, have disclosed that nothing brings down a nation like deceit, as they called on the military and the politicians to begin to be true to themselves.
The duo disclosed this at the dedication of the new church auditorium by the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Abuja Diocese yesterday.
Vice President Osinbajo particularly noted the forces of evil and hate are more vehement than ever.
Seeking concerted efforts to end the scourge, he said the battle between light and darkness is now more intense than ever.
The VP was, however, optimistic that the church will prevail.
According to him, “We must continue to build churches, knowing that everywhere we plant a church, we light the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men and this is the answer to all misery.
“Every church built is an important thing for the spread of God’s kingdom. Evangelism is crucial, but there must be a place dedicated for the disciple. That is why many agree that church planting is important for evangelism.”
Accordingly, Ndukuba said in times like this, the nation can overcome adversity by uniting.
The primate, therefore, called on politicians, religious leaders, and the state governors and the President to work together.
“We will overcome only as we unite. This is what we ought to do.
“But a situation in which there are infractions in our security, and we see clear compromise and betrayal in our system is unacceptable.
“Therefore, we call on the military and the politicians to begin to purge themselves. Let us be true. Nothing brings down a nation than deceit.
“Leadership deceit will compromise security, integrity, and good work that needs to be done for the common good of the people.”
Speaking further, he said the compromise must stop.
“If we love Nigeria, let us live as patriots. The labours of our heroes’ past shall never be in vain. We pray that God will arise for this nation someday,” he said.
The primate said the greatest weapon against anarchy is the power of God and his word.
“He has never failed. So let us live true to our faith. Let’s trust God and work with others.”
He stressed the need to encourage Nigerians not to give up.
“Yes, we have security, economic and so many other challenges confronting us. The church is part of society. We are not separate from what is happening around us. But we want to encourage everyone not to give up.
“God has not given upon us. So, we are trusting God that Nigeria will rise again soon. The role of the church should be to pray and also to teach the word of God,” he added.
In another development, Osinbajo and other clerics have called for more prayers as the Buhari administration works hard at solutions to the challenges confronting the nation.
They spoke yesterday at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Utako, Abuja, where they prayed for an end to the spate of violent attacks in parts of the country.
Other dignitaries at the dedication of the City of the David building include Senator Philip Aduda; Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen and other officials.
Beside the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who joined the vice president at the Anglican church, there was also the former Information Minister, Prof. Jerry Gana, among others.
Shanghai suspends schools, flights as typhoon approaches China - REUTERS
SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Authorities in Shanghai and neighbouring coastal regions cancelled flights, and suspended schools, subways and trains as Typhoon Chanthu approached China after drenching Taiwan though causing little damage there.
The storm, with winds of more than 170 kilometres per hour near its eye, had been downgraded from a super typhoon to a strong typhoon on Sunday evening and was expected to gradually weaken, Shanghai city authorities said in a post on their official WeChat account.
But it was still expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to coastal regions.
The province of Zhejiang near Shanghai raised its emergency response to the highest level on Sunday, closing schools and suspending flights and rail services in some cities, the official Xinhua news service reported.
Zhejiang also issued red alerts for flash floods in nine districts. Ningbo port, China's second-biggest container transporting hub after Shanghai, had suspended operations since Sunday noon.
The port just resumed from a weeks-long port congestion, following typhoon In-Fa in late-July and a COVID-19-related terminal closure in mid-August.
In Shanghai, home to about 26 million people, all flights at the city's larger Pudong International Airport were to be cancelled from 11 a.m. local time (0300 GMT), while flights from the smaller Hongqiao airport in the west of the city were to be cancelled from 3 p.m., the Shanghai government announced on WeChat.
Port terminals in Shanghai regions suspended containers import and export services from Monday till further notice.
The city also suspended subway services on some lines serving the city's southern districts, and said parks, outdoor tourist attractions and playgrounds would be closed on Monday and Tuesday. Classes were also due to be suspended on Monday afternoon and Tuesday.
Official forecasts called for rainfall of 250-280 millimetres in some areas of southeastern Jiangsu province, Shanghai and northeastern Zhejiang.
The typhoon passed by Taiwan's east coast over the weekend, disrupting transport and causing some power outages, but otherwise little damage.
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith and Muyu Xu; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Sam Holmes)
Nigerians in Singapore urge e-passport application process - NAN
Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Singapore Chapter, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to institute an electronic passport application process, to tackle the issue of fake web registration.
The President of NIDO-Singapore chapter, Birinengi Harry, gave the advice in a phone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, in Abuja.
He was speaking on the heels of the red flag been raised by the Nigerian Consulate in New York warning against a fake website claiming to register and renew passports.
Harry said, “Internet fraud remains a huge problem globally, as we migrate towards a digital economy, thankfully the issue of fake websites for registration and renewal of passports has not surfaced here in Singapore.
“This may partly be due to the unavailability of immigration services at the Nigerian High Commission, requiring Nigerians travelling to neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, for passport services.
“It is noteworthy, in recent years, the Nigeria mission in Singapore has graciously collaborated with their Malaysian counterparts, to bring passport renewal services to Singapore.
“It will be highly appreciated if this ad hoc arrangement is made quarterly, since government services around the world have become more digital.”
He identified e-governance, including accessibility, simplification of processes and transparency to be the potential benefits of electronic passport applications that could far outweigh the application risks.
He, however, urged government and Nigeria diplomatic missions to transit faster into the digital space, so as to achieve targets.
UAE's Emirates to operate first-ever superjumbo flight to Turkey - ZAWYA
Deployment of A380 aircraft to boost airline capacity, traffic between UAE and Turkey
Emirates to receive three more A380 aircrafts from Airbus this year, with its last unit on order scheduled to join its fleet in November. These deliveries will bring Emirates’ total fleet of A380s to 118 units. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose.
Emirates will deploy its A380 aircraft on the Turkey route for the first time next month as the UAE-based carrier continues to boost its capacity following the reopening of international borders.
Effective October 1, travellers between Dubai and Istanbul can experience the superjumbo, which is configured to carry up to 517 people, the carrier said in a statement.
The use of the aircraft will increase Emirates’ capacity per flight by more than 150 passengers compared to the current Boeing 777-300ER.
“We are excited to finally bring our flagship to Istanbul to join man other top cities we currently serve with the A380,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ chief commercial officer.
The airline has so far carried around six million flyers on more than 23,000 flights since it started operating to Turkey 34 years ago.
According to Majid Khan, vice president for aviation development of iGA Istanbul Airport, the A380 deployment will provide a much-needed boost to the tourism sectors in UAE and Turkey.
“This increase will help boost traffic between our two nations… It will bring more inbound tourism to Istanbul and Turkey from currently unserved or underserved destinations,” said Khan.
Emirates grounded its fleet of superjumbos last year, when passenger traffic plummeted to record lows.
The airline has recently moved forward the delivery of its last A380 orders to November this year. The final delivery is set to mark the end of the iconic aircraft’s production.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz )