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Wed, Jan

UK Red Lists Nigerian Travelers over COVID-19 Omicron

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The United Kingdom (UK) yesterday added Nigeria to its Red List of countries whose nationals are prevented from entering its territory on account of the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Already on the list are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In effect, from 4am tomorrow, only British and Irish nationals traveling from Nigeria will be allowed into the UK and must isolate in a government-managed quarantine hotel.


On the other hand, from 4am on Tuesday, anyone traveling to the UK from countries not on the red list will be required to take a pre-departure test a maximum of 48 hours before leaving, regardless of their vaccination.


Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said the government decided to move after receiving new data about the spread of the Omicron variant, which emerged in southern Africa.


“Since we have learned of this new variant, our strategy has been to buy time. We have always said we will act swiftly should new data require it,” he said.


“Over recent days we have learned of a significant number of growing cases linked to travel with Nigeria.


“There are 27 cases already in England and that’s growing. Nigeria now is second only to South Africa in terms of linked cases to Omicron.”


Javid also took to his Twitter account @sajidjavid saying: “In light of the most recent data we are taking further action to slow the rate incursion of the Omicron variant. From 4am Monday, only UK/Irish citizens & residents traveling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility.


“And from 4am Tuesday, anyone traveling to the UK from countries not on the Red List will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their vaccination status.”


Under the new rules, from 4am on Monday only British and Irish nationals traveling from Nigeria will be allowed into the country and must isolate in a government-managed quarantine hotel. And from 4am on Tuesday, anyone traveling to the UK from countries not on the red list will be required to take a pre-departure test a maximum of 48 hours before leaving, regardless of their vaccination.

 

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