Many Nigerians living o v e r s e a s could be denied the opportunity to visit home for Christmas following the United Kingdom’s travel ban on Nigeria because of the discovery of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the country.
Thousands of Nigerians in the Diaspora, particularly in the UK and the United States, are counting their losses as they have put on hold their trips as airlines are making frantic moves to cancel their bookings.
This will also have spiral effects on domestic carriers seeing an upward rise in the number of bookings done by Nigerians in the Diaspora. But since the announcement of the ban that took effect yesterday and effectively put Nigeria on the UK’s COVID-19 red list, the number of bookings has quickly decreased, an indication that not many people would travel home for the Yuletide.
From December 1 of every year to January, the South-East experience a traffic surge as many people visit the region and the South-South for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
A Nigerian family, who spoke to New Telegraph from London yesterday, lamented that the travel ban is really hurting Nigerian residents in UK and Nigeria-born British nationals.
A travel agent, who spoke to our correspondent, said despite the ban, many Nigerians having the British passport or residence permit are still making travel plans to the country as the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic’s inbound flights are still having near full capacity while the British carriers’ outbound are suffering.
President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs Susan Akporiaye, said the ban was having torrid effects on Nigerianborn British nationals.
She, however, stated that many were waiting for the review of the ban on December 20, adding that failure to review the ban by British to remove Nigeria from its red list would lead to a bleak Christmas.