Omicron: Why UK lifted ban on Nigerian travellers - British Commissioner

Also on the list were Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Omicron: Why UK lifted ban on Nigerian travellers - British Commissioner

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has explained the United Kingdom's removal of the ban placed on Nigerian travellers.

According to Laing in a press release by the commission on Tuesday, the decision was based on "scientific and public health data."

WuzupNigeria reported that the discovery of 21 passengers with the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, 19 of which reportedly flew directly to Britain from Nigeria, placed the West African country on UK's red list.

Also on the list were Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had earlier said that the UK, Canada and Saudi Arabia would be put on Nigeria’s travel ban on Tuesday.

However, in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Health Secretary Sajid Javid revealed that all 11 countries will be removed from the UK's travel red list from 4am on Wednesday.

"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," he told parliament.

Explaining further Laing, said, “On Tuesday 14th December, UK Ministers made the decision – based on scientific and public health data – to remove Nigeria from the UK’s travel red list. The emergence of the Omicron variant is a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and like all countries around the world the UK has had to take difficult decisions to protect public health.

“We took this necessary precautionary action to give us time to understand the challenge we and others faced, and to slow down the spread of Omicron while scientists urgently assessed what impact the variant has on vaccines, treatments and transmissibility. When we announced the heightened restrictions we made clear that we would remove them as soon as we could, and that is the decision Ministers have taken today.

“I know this will be welcome news for students, tourists, businesses and families in the UK and Nigeria, although I recognise the impact that these temporary health measures have had.”

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