The travel restrictions in the United Kingdom have been criticized by Nigeria, which was previously included in the red list for fear of the Omicron variant.
Sarafa Tunji Isola, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, told the BBC on Monday: “Expectation is a global approach, not selective.”
He also responded to the comments of the UN Secretary General, who described the restrictions on some southern African countries as “travel apartheid.”
The new rules take effect at 04:00 GMT.
This means that travelers arriving from Nigeria will be required to enter the hotel for isolation-at their own expense-and quarantine for 10 days.
“The travel ban is apartheid because we are not dealing with epidemics,” Mr. Isola told the Today program. “We are dealing with epidemics. Whenever we encounter challenges, we must cooperate.”
At the same time, British Government Secretary Kit Malthouse (Kit Malthouse) stated that the term “travel apartheid” is “very unfortunate language.”
“We understand the difficulties caused by these travel restrictions, but we are trying to buy some time so that our scientists can study this virus and evaluate its difficulty,” he told the BBC.
The Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom stated that all countries collect data in different ways, which means that it is difficult to directly compare this information. It stated that the government will continue to review these data.
On Monday, Nigeria became the 11th country to enter the UK’s international travel red list. All countries on this list are currently African countries.
The only people allowed to enter the UK from these countries are British or Irish nationals, or British residents. They must pay the fee and self-quarantine for 10 days in a pre-booked government-approved hotel.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres first used the term “travel apartheid” on Wednesday, telling reporters in New York that the ban was “not only very unfair and punitive, but also ineffective.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana also condemned the restrictions on African countries, describing them as “a tool for immigration control” at a press conference last week.
The British government issued a statement on Saturday Announcing Nigeria’s inclusion in the Red List stated that “the vast majority” of Omicron variant cases in the UK “have a clear connection with overseas travel from South Africa and Nigeria”. It said that in the last week, England reported 21 Omicron infections, which were “from Nigeria”.
Nigeria reported its first Omicron case last week, the first country in West Africa to record infection with this variant. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 214,622 coronavirus cases have been reported in the country. According to data from Johns Hopkins University.
This new variant was first discovered in South Africa in November. Little is known about this, but there are concerns that it may be more contagious, and early data suggests that it may evade some of our immunity to Covid.
On Friday, World Health Organization (WHO) top scientist Soumya Swaminathan said Omicron may become the main strain in the world, Although she warned that it was difficult to predict and urged people not to panic.