The United Kingdom Government has revealed the reason it removed Nigeria and ten other African countries from its travel red list.
Naija News reports that the UK had on December 4 placed Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe on its travel ban due to the detection of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The British government said the African countries were placed on the red list as a precaution to curb the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country.
On Tuesday, UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, had announced that the country is scrapping the red list for international travel from December 15.
Speaking at the UK parliament on Tuesday, Javid said the travel red list for countries no longer works in stopping the spread of the new Omicron variant.
In a statement on Tuesday night, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said the removal of the countries from the red list is based on “scientific and public health data”.
She stated that the countries were earlier banned to give the UK government time to understand the variant and ways to slow down the spread of the virus.
Lang 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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