Bayelsa Times

Why UK removed Nigeria, others from Covid red list


United Kingdom has removed Nigeria and 10 other countries from its travel red list.

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

The UK red listing had sparked off controversies as affected countries described it as unjust.

The Nigeria government had also decided to ban people traveling from UK to Nigeria.

The red list was reintroduced in late November as a precaution after the emergence of the Omicron variant.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it the Omicron Covid strain had spread so widely that the rules no longer had much purpose, the BBC reports.

“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.

“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 4am tomorrow morning.”

Currently, all UK arrivals from red list countries must pay for and self-isolate in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Some travellers have already paid thousands of pounds to stay in government-approved quarantine hotels, and there have been complaints of chaotic organisation and inedible food during their stays.

Mr Javid said he had asked for urgent advice on whether those currently in managed quarantine would be able to leave early.

He also said he was “very persuaded” by calls to reimburse people and hoped to make an announcement soon.

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