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UK suspends issuance of visa to Nigerians

The United Kingdom has announced a temporary suspension on reviewing and issuing visitor visa applications from all red list countries, including Nigeria.

The decision was announced in a statement issued on Sunday by the British High Commission.

“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,” the statement said.

This comes after Nigeria was placed on the UK’s red list over growing concerns of the recently identified COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“You cannot travel to the UK if you’ve been in a red list country in the previous 10 days unless you are a British or Irish national, have residence rights in the UK,” the commission had said on Sunday.

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On Saturday, Peoples Gazette reported Nigeria’s addition to the UK’s “red list”, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid listing the new restrictions that would come into force on Tuesday. These restrictions include out-bound passengers needing to provide either valid evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR test result within 48 hours of departure.

Nigeria, after confirming two cases of the Omicron variant on December 1, joined the list of African countries, except those in North Africa, which have been placed on red lists as high-risk countries.

Governments across the globe have been emplacing travel bans since the Omicron variant was sequenced and identified in South Africa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had said that the Omicron variant, now detected in 38 countries, appears to be more contagious than the COVID-19 Delta variant.

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