The UK Government today scraps its Omicron Variant Red List and removes Nigeria and 10 other countries from its web.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid ruefully admitted in Parliament today that the measure has not prevented the spread of Omicron variant.
The “red list” bans travellers from 11 mostly African countries from coming to the UK, for fear of importing Omicron.
The lifting of the ban on red list countries becomes effective by 4.00 a.m. tomorrow, a few hours from now.
Passengers arriving the UK will therefore no longer quarantine in government-approved hotels where each hitherto paid a whopping £2,285.
Consequently, UK will free travellers in quarantine who have not tested positive to Covid-19 or its variants, a cabinet Minister said.
“Anyone who has tested positive will need to continue to stay in managed quarantine,” the official said.
Countries hitherto placed on red list included Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Commercial British airlines breathed a sigh of relief after the announcement which has the potential to stop losses from reciprocal actions planned by other countries.
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika dropped hints that Nigeria is set to retaliate by banning flights from countries pushing Nigeria to the wall.
Health Minister Osagie Ehanire criticized the unpopular measure as needless and knee-jerk response to a variant not yet fully understood.
Similarly, Nigeria’s High Commissioner in London Sarafa Tunji Isola also characterized it as a form of “travel apartheid.”
UK removes Nigeria from Omicron Red List