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Why we removed Nigeria from travel red list – UK

BRITISH High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, says the United Kingdom removed Nigeria from its travel red list based on “scientific and public health data”.

Laing stated this in a release yesterday following announcement by the UK government that Nigeria and 10 other countries will be removed from the red list “effective 4am on Wednesday” (today).

Nigeria had retaliated with similar travel restrictions as many described the UK government’s decision as “travel apartheid.”

But the UK said the red list was reintroduced as a precaution after the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, which has been recorded in over 50 countries including Nigeria and the UK.

However, speaking further on the removal of Nigeria from the red list, 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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Naija Times