The Nigerian Government has called for a reversal of Britain’s travel ban on Nigerians as well as removal of the country from the European country’s Red List.
The decision of the government was conveyed by the Minister of Information, National Orientation and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during a press conference in Abuja, on Monday.
The government described the ban and Red List as unjust, discriminatory and not based on science.
This is even as the British High Commission announced it will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications from all red list countries including Nigeria.
The commission announced the decision in a statement issued on Sunday.
On Saturday, Nigeria was added by the United Kingdom to a red list over Omicron, a variant of Coronavirus.
Following the latest development, all international arrivals to the UK will now be required to take pre-departure COVID-19 tests, the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said on Saturday.
UK citizens and residents will be able to enter the country from Nigeria but they will have to pay to stay in quarantine for 10 days.
The change starts from 4:00 am on Monday, according to Javid.
“Nigeria is second only to South Africa for cases linked to Omicron,” he had said.
Meanwhile, a statement from the British High Commission in Nigeria reads, “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern (VOC), UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted. Visit visas cover travel to the UK for:
“Tourism; Visiting family and friends; Undertaking short-term business activities (for example, attending meetings); Undertaking short-term studies (under 6 months); Taking part in research or exchange programmes as an academic; Medical reasons (for example, receiving private medical treatment)
”If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK Immigration Rules, your application will be paused. You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place.
“You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)
”If you already hold a valid visit visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter. Separate guidance is available for travellers entering Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. See https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-list-of-countries-and-territories
“Only where there are compelling and compassionate circumstances will visit visas be issued or entry permitted to visit England from a red list country whilst travel restrictions remain in place. There are only very limited exemptions to travel and entry requirements for critical workers and medical and compassionate cases.
“Further information on how to raise compassionate grounds when making an application can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants and-temporary-uk-residents#outside-uk
“If you have submitted a visit visa application and you do not wish to withdraw, we will continue to hold your application.
“If you choose to continue with your visa application, you will not receive a decision on your visit visa whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”