Over concerns of an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, the United Kingdom has added Nigeria to its Red List countries and will enforce stricter entry rules from Monday, December 6.
On Wednesday, Nigeria confirmed its first cases of the Omicron variant, linked to travellers from South Africa and since then the country has not reported any new cases of the ‘variant of concern’.
The statement signed by Ndidiamaka Eze, Press & Public Affairs Officer at the British High Commission in Nigeria, residents arriving from Nigeria must isolate in a Government-approved managed quarantine facility for 10 days, and receive two negative PCR tests, as further precautionary action is taken against the Omicron variant.
She said, “Currently, the majority of cases in the UK have clear links to overseas travel from South Africa and Nigeria, and over the past week 21 reported Omicron cases in England originating from Nigeria.”
It added that “these are temporary measures that have been introduced to prevent further Omicron cases from entering the UK, and will be examined at the three-week review point on 20 December,” it read in part.
Although the ban is described as temporary, the UK said the new protocol does not apply to persons “staying airside and only transiting through”.
British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights, arriving in England from countries on the red list have been advised to book a managed quarantine hotel in advance.
“The quarantine package will include a managed quarantine hotel, quarantine transport and a travel test package for COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine,” the statement added.
Speaking on his Country’s decision to place Nigeria on the red list, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing said, “I know that this decision will have a significant impact on people in both our countries, particularly at this time of year. This decision is a precautionary measure to protect public health in the UK, whilst we try to understand this new variant.
“We continue to work very closely with the Niger