The United Kingdom Government may have bowed to pressures to rescind the controversial red list under which it banned flights to Nigeria and nine other African countries following the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 in South Africa.
According to the Mail, the red list is to be scrapped after just a fortnight after it was introduced. The move is expected to be approved this week, the Mail reported on Sunday, apparently due to intense pressures by Nigerian travelers even as the Nigerian Government threatened to impose retaliatory measures against the UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and others that have slammed flight bans on Nigerian travelers.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was said to have convinced his colleagues the red list should be replaced with testing for the fully vaccinated.
The red list met with protests from officials in Nigeria and other affected African countries as travellers in quarantine complained of six-hour journeys to hotel and “grim” food
The emergence of Omicron forced thousands of travellers into hotel quarantine at a cost of £2,285 per person for 10 days.
Recall that the Communications Unit of the British High Commission in Abuja, earlier released a press statement that said “Nigeria is to be added to the travel red list from 4am Monday 6th December 2021, following 21 cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 reported in England which were linked to travel from Nigeria.
“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.”
UK government added Nigeria to the travel red list from Monday December 6 and people travelling to UK from any country will need to take pre-departure test from 7 December.
Other countries on UK red list are: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Nigerian Government then on Sunday, December 12th 2021, threatened to retaliate over the travel restrictions on its citizens by banning flights from the United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina, following their decisions to include Nigeria on the red list.