COVID-19 Omicron – It’s apartheid to ban travellers – Nigeria tells UK


Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Sarafa Ishola, has said the travel restrictions imposed on the country is “apartheid”.

A number of European nations have banned travel from countries in Africa, following the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant by South Africa.

On Saturday, the UK announced that it would add Nigeria to the list of countries on its red list, as a result of Omicron COVID cases linked to the country.

The ban, which is effective from Monday (today), means only UK residents or citizens of the UK can enter the UK from Nigeria.

Speaking on a BBC radio programme on Monday, Isola said the ban on Nigeria is “travel apartheid”.

The high commissioner said what is expected of the UK is a global approach and not a selective measure, adding that most Omicron cases in Nigeria came from elsewhere through travellers.

“The reaction in Nigeria is that of travel apartheid. Because Nigeria actually aligned with the position of the United Nations secretary-general that the travel ban is apartheid in the sense that we are dealing with an endemic situation, we are dealing with a pandemic situation and what is expected is a global approach, not selective,” he said.

Ishola said Omicron “is classified as a mild variant, no hospitalisation, no deaths, so the issue is quite different from the Delta variant”.

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