The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Sani Aliyu, has said the federal government is considering lifting the ban on interstate movement on June 21.
Aliyu said although the date is still tentative, the restriction on interstate travel will be reopened with the reopening of local flights in the country.
Recall that the Federal and States Governments have shut borders across the country since March as part of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aliyu, speaking on Thursday, said the date for the lifting of the restriction is subject to the resumption of domestic flights in the country.
According to him, “When we say from June 21, we mean that we are preparing the aviation sector towards that date,” Aliyu said.
“That date may not necessarily be June 21; it could be June 26, 28, or even July 1.”
He noted that it is mostly impossible for domestic flights to be opened when the borders of states remained lock to movement.
“Once we open up the skies to domestic flights, then we would have to review the arrangements regarding interstate travel because you cannot have a ban on interstate travel and you have people flying from one state to another”, Aliyu added.
Also, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said that the date for resumption of international flights would soon be released.
The minister said industry stakeholders should start developing protocols towards flight resumption.
“The aircraft has been parked for three months, we have to ensure that within now and that time, these airplanes are good and safe to fly,” he said.
He also explained that pilots and other members of the cabin crew would be required to undergo medicals and have their licenses renewed ahead of the planned resumption.
Credit: Niger Delta today