RED LISTS AND OMICRON POLITICS

Introduction

The UK in the early hours of Tuesday the 14th of December 2021, recalled their decision to put Nigeria along with 10 other African countries.

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Well, it all started when our “Big Brothers” in the south discovered a new variant which would later be termed “OMICRON”. With a new flavor of the Corona virus popping up every few months the world wasn’t too surprised about a new strain.

Unfortunately, the African communities weren’t expecting what came next, within 24hours of the announcement the UK, USA and other European countries slapped travel bans on African countries who had reported cases of new or unknown strains of the virus.

In response to the travel ban the federal government of Nigeria threatened to also put on its red list such countries as UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Argentina which had taken similar actions against Nigeria.

Speaking at the UK parliament, Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, said the Omicron variant “has spread so widely across the world,” adding that the travel red list was now “less effective”.

“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.

“Whilst we will maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel, we will be removing all 11 countries from the travel red list, effective from 4 am tomorrow (today),” he told parliament

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As of the time of writing this article travelers from Nigeria going into the UK are required to spend £2,285 on hotel quarantine for ten days (At their own expense).

Travelers would also be required to take either a PCR or rapid lateral flow test a maximum of 48 hours before departure.

Grant Shapps, UK Transport Secretary, said testing measures would be reviewed in the first week of January.

“As always, we keep all our travel measures under review, and we may impose new restrictions should there be a need to do so to protect public health,” he wrote in a Twitter post.

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, in a statement in Lagos yesterday, said passengers arriving from the 11 African countries would not have to stay in a managed quarantine hotel on arrival in England from today.

‘’All vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK must continue to take a pre-departure test two days or less before they depart for the UK and must take a PCR test on or before day 2 and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

‘’These testing measures are vital in helping to prevent any additional cases of Omicron from entering the UK and stopping people from passing it on to others,’’ the high commissioner stated.

While we as a people fought this battle on one hand, we also had a battle with the UAE about airline slots and airlifting Nigerians.

 

Catch that story in our next post.

 

Till then we remain your No 1 Travel Partners.

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