Posted by Timige, On 10 Mar, 2022 | Updated On 10 Mar, 2022 No Comments »
Since the outbreak of corona virus pandemic, travel bans from countries to countries has been the norms. United Kingdom is one of the set of countries that placed travel ban on Nigeria when the first case of Omicron was recorded in Nigerian. Can Nigerian travel to UK now? This is the question that is flashing through the mind of hundred of Nigerians who take UK as their second home.
Omicron is the current variant of COVID-19. In recent time, its infections has spike in the UK. 194,747 cases have been recorded with 334 deaths as at 6 January, 2022.
Why UK Placed Traveling Ban on Nigeria
First case of Omicron was recorded in Nigeria on December 1, 2021. In the second week of this same month, UK put Nigeria on red list and banned Nigerians from traveling to UK. United Kingdom did tis over fears that travelers from the country could help spread the Omicron COVID-19 variant in Britain.
UK’s Department of Health said 21 Omicron cases of the new variant at the time were linked to travelers from Nigeria. Based on this, Nigerians were banned from traveling to UK.
Other African countries banned from entering United Kingdom are Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, Malawi, Eswatini, Zambia, Lesotho and Namibia.
How Nigerians Reacted to The UK Travel Ban
The Uk’s Omicron travel ban stirred a racism debate in Nigeria. Nigeria Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, in his reaction said:
The British travel ban is not driven by science and is unjust, unfair, primitive, indefensible and discriminatory.
UK Lift The Travel Ban on Nigeria
On December 15, 2021, the United Kingdom lift the travel ban on Nigeria and 10 other African countries.
The UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, disclosed this while addressing the British parliament on Tuesday 14 December, 2021. He said travel ban was less effective in preventing transmission of Omicron variant of COVID-19 from abroad.
Sajid Javid said:
Now that there is community transmission of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely across the world, the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad.
Sajid also said:
Whilst we will maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel we will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list
UK Entry Restriction for Nigerians
According to UK government website, if you plan to pass through another country to come to UK, check the travel advice for the country you are transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before coming to the UK.
Nigerians traveling to the UK should not bother much about COVID-19 tests. This is because the British government has scrapped pre-departure tests. The scraping took effect since Friday 7, January, 2022.
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister told the parliament on January 5, 2022 that the requirement to self-isolation on arrival until receipt of negative PCR test will also be lifted.
Boris said a negative lateral flow test will be acceptable instead. The rapid test has been in use since October, 2021 and has helped to check for COVID-19 infection.
So, can Nigerian travel to UK now? Yes because the ban has been lifted and Nigerians are free to travel to United Kingdom if they follow all the lay down rules of UK government.
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