By John Ikani
Nigerians entering the United Kingdom will be subjected to COVID-19 test and isolation inspite of their COVID-19 Vaccine certificate obtained in Nigeria.
This is as the UK has relaxed COVID-19 restriction for 50 countries excluding Nigeria and other African countries.
The measure which came into effect yesterday, had countries and territories categorised as either “red” or “rest of the world.”
With the new travel rules, the UK has stopped the previous traffic light system of green, amber and red lists.
A statement published on its website said eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s returning from the over 50 countries and territories not on the red list, can do so without needing to complete a pre-departure test (PDT), a day 8 test or enter a 10-day self-isolation period, making it easier for those travelling, whether that’s to see friends and family, or on business trips.
Nigerian travelers had in September complained over the COVID-19 restriction they suffered in the UK despite being fully vaccinated before leaving the country. Nigerians were forced to undergo test and isolation even though they had certificate to show for the vaccine that took before traveling. Also, they were made to pay for accommodation for isolation and the test.
Following the complaints, the Federal Government assured Nigerians that it was handling the matter. The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said Nigerian officials “are in talks with the UK government.”
On her part, the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing denied reports that her government has placed restrictions on Nigerian travelers. She was confident when she issued a statement that the UK authorities will soon simplify existing travel rules for Nigerians and other international visitors to the country.
“From October 4, 2021, the current system will be simplified. There will be a single red list of countries and territories where stricter rules apply, and there will also be a “rest of the world” list, with simplified travel measures.”
She said the “rest of the world” list will include countries currently on the UK’s amber list, such as Nigeria.