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UK bans flights from Nigeria as Omicron spreads


Wole Shadare

The United Kingdom has banned flights from Nigeria, effective Monday, owing to the rising number of COVID-19 Omicron cases linked travellers from Nigeria.

Nigeria was added to the red list of countries from where people arriving must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

New Telegraph reports that Canada on Tuesday banned flights from Nigeria and some other African countries after two persons with travel history Nigeria were detected with the Omicron variant.

Nigeria had also, on Wednesday, confirmed three cases of the Omicron variant from travellers from South Africa.

In a statement, the UK Mission in Nigeria said: “From 4am on 6 December, Nigeria will be added to the red list for international travel to England.

“This follows 21 recent cases of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron) linked to travels from Nigeria.

“From 4am on 6 December, UK and Irish citizens and residents arriving from Nigeria must isolate in a government approved managed quarantine facility for 10 days, and receive two PCR tests, as the UK government takes further precautionary action against the Omicron variant.

“From 4am on 6 Dec a temporary travel ban will be introduced for non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents who’ve been in Nigeria in the previous 10 days, meaning they will be refused entry into the UK.

“This doesn’t apply to those staying airside and only transiting through…”

Reports quoted the UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid as saying that Nigeria is second only to South Africa in terms of linked cases to Omicron.

He said: “Over the recent days we have learnt of a significant number of growing cases linked to travel with Nigeria.

“There are 27 cases already in England and that’s growing and Nigeria now is second only to South Africa in terms of linked cases to Omicron.”

Javid said only residents and citizens of the UK and Ireland travelling from Nigeria would be allowed entry into the region.

“In light of the most recent data, we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the Omicron variant.

“From 4 a.m. Monday, only UK/Irish citizens and residents travelling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility,” he said.




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