Omicron variant: UK bows to pressure, removes Nigeria, 10 others from red list


United Kingdom Government, Tuesday, announced that Nigeria along with 10 other African countries will be removed from it travel red list from 4am on Wednesday.

UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid on Tuesday made the announcement, stressing that the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had spread so widely that red listing countries no longer had much purpose.

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 4am tomorrow morning,” Javid said while addressing parliament Currently, all UK arrivals from red list countries must pay for and self-isolate in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for 10 days.

They must also take Covid tests within 48 hours of setting off for the UK and PCR tests within two days of their arrival.The UK government and a list of other western countries sparked a row after red listing Nigeria and the other African countries following the outbreak of Omicron.

Especially, the Nigerian government had vowed that with effect from Tuesday, Dec. 14, it would in retaliation restrict airlines coming from the UK, and even Canada and Saudi Arabia.Meanwhile, the UK government has said it is seeking urgent advice on whether those currently in managed quarantine would be able to leave early.

Some arrivals 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.The UK Health Secretary said he was “very persuaded” by calls to reimburse people and hoped to make an announcement soon.

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