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Nigeria on UK’s Red List over Omicron fears

Post created on December 5, 2021

The United Kingdom has added Nigeria to its red list category as it tightens travel restrictions in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This is coming a few days after Canada extended its travel ban to travellers who recently visited Nigeria.

The UK health minister, Sajid Javid, said only residents and citizens of the UK and Ireland travelling from Nigeria would be allowed entry into the region adding that they will have to quarantine on arrival.

“From 0400 on Monday 6 December, Nigeria will be added to the red list for entering England,” the UK government’s travel advisory on Nigeria said.

Travellers into the UK from red-listed countries must take a COVID-19 test three days before travel, book a quarantine hotel package, including two COVID-19 tests, and complete a passenger locator form.

The rules apply to even fully vaccinated persons.

Over the recent days we have learnt of a significant number of growing cases linked to travel with Nigeria,” UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said, as reported by the BBC.

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

Nigeria on Wednesday joined the growing number of countries that have recorded the first cases of the Omicron variant also known as B.1.1.529 lineage

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that three persons with a history of travel to South Africa returned positive tests for the new variant.

About 20 countries have so far identified cases of the new variant, triggering travel bans across the world.

Data from other countries already shows the omicron variant was circulating before it was officially identified in southern Africa.

Many African leaders, as well as the World Health Organisation, have frowned at the travel ban on African countries due to Omicron, saying the variant has been detected in many parts of the world.

Meanwhile, the NCDC has urged Nigerians to strictly adhere to precautionary measures already put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic.

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