The United Kingdom has added Nigeria to the travel red list on December 6th, 2021. Since that day at 4 a.m., the British government will be denying entry to non-UK and non-Irish citizens who visited Nigeria in the last 10 days. Only those who have been in the country in transit are exempt from this decision.
Meanwhile, British and Irish nationals and residents who’ve recently been in Nigeria will be allowed entry to their countries but they must isolate themselves in a government-approved managed quarantine facility for 10 days and take two PCR tests during their stay in that facility.
The UK government explained in a press release that these new measures are related to the Omicron variant, which is present in England mostly due to overseas travel to South Africa and Nigeria. Over the course of the past week, there were 21 cases of Omicron that are linked to people coming from Nigeria, according to the UK authorities.
The decision is temporary and it will be revised on December 20th, 2021. Grant Shapps, who is the United Kingdom’s Transport Secretary, said: “As we learn more about the Omicron variant, we will review these temporary measures to ensure they continue to be proportionate and necessary to protect public health”.
In the meanwhile, the cases of Omicron are rising in the United Kingdom, with ever-changing numbers above 130 now.
This is why the British authorities have also implemented a new travel requirement consisting of mandatory COVID-19 diagnostic tests (PCR or LFD) up to 48 hours before arrival in the United Kingdom.
Until now, not everyone had to take pre-departure tests. But from December 7th, 2021, even vaccinated people and children aged 12 coming from countries not on the red list will have to take the test. Without it, travelers will not be able to board the plane as airlines will be required to ask for the test and a complete passenger locator form in the first place.
Vaccinated travelers will also be required to book, pay, and take a PCR test upon arrival in the United Kingdom, even if they’ll be in the area for less than 2 days. Of course, they must self-isolate until they receive the result, and if it’s positive, they must stay in quarantine for 10 days.
Due to this, the UK government announced that it will be expanding the Managed Quarantine Service capacity in order to facilitate travel quarantine.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, said: “We knew this winter would be challenging but the arrival of a new variant means we must further strengthen our defenses. I urge everyone to do their bit to slow the spread by following the new travel rules, wearing masks where mandatory, and most importantly, getting the booster jab when called.”