The United Kingdom’s Mission in Nigeria has said that evacuation of British nationals who wish to leave over the COVID-19 pandemic, will commence on April 18 and end on April 20 but that more flights would follow if there is demand.
In its travel advisory, the Mission said that nationals would be evacuated from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. It also stated that to be eligible for all flights, primary residence has to be in the UK and that it will prioritise helping the most vulnerable return and those who have underlying medical conditions placing them at greater risk of serious illness if they contact COVID-19. Individuals are expected to pay for their seats.
The UK Mission however stated that the Federal Government has assured 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. “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 is 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.
“Our first flights are expected to leave both Lagos and Abuja on Saturday 18 April with a further flight from Lagos on 20 April. You will not be able to pick your departure date – the online booking process will generate it automatically. More flights will follow, depending on demand. Anyone flying back to the UK on an HMG chartered flight will need to pay for their own ticket.