The United Kingdom has said it will not reverse its travel ban on Nigeria because of a threat of retaliation by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
This was revealed by the British High Commission on Sunday in an exchange of messages with The PUNCH.
The spokesman for the British High Commission, Dean Hurlock, said this in response to an inquiry on Sunday over a statement by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, that the UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina would be put on Nigeria’s travel ban on Tuesday.
Hurlock stated that Britain had made it clear that travel abroad would be different this year, adding that the UK was sticking to its “standard background lines.”
In a text message to the High Commission, The PUNCH asked: “Will that make the UK rescind its travel ban?”
In his response, Hurlock stated: “The UK Government propose sticking to our standard background lines on whether ‘x’ country will put us on the red list and avoid getting into hypothetical situations.
The UK government has been clear that travel abroad will be different this year and countries may impose border measures at short notice in line with their own coronavirus policies.”
He added that the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office travel advice was kept under constant review and asked travelers to continue to check it for entry requirements of the destination they plan to visit.
“Travellers can also sign up for e-mail alerts on GOV.The UK to get the latest updates as soon as they happen. We are in regular conversations with other countries about their travel policies,” Hurlock explained.
In an earlier response to The PUNCH correspondent’s inquiry, he said: “The position stated in our press release of last weekend still stands at present.”In the press release, the UK had said Nigeria would be added to the travel red list from 4 am on December 6 following 21 cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 reported in England, which had travel history from Nigeria.
These are temporary measures that have been introduced to prevent further omicron cases from entering the UK and will be examined at the three-week review point on 20 December.”