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COVID-19: UK to ‘simplify travel rules’ for Nigeria Nationals, others

THE United Kingdom has promised to simplify COVID-19 travel rules for Nigeria nationals and other international visitors following frustrating tales by travelers.

British High Commission in Nigeria at the weekend said the travellers will experience some ease in their travel experiences from Monday, October 4, 2021.

“From October 4, 2021, the current system will be simplified. There will be a single red list of countries and territories where stricter rules apply, and there will also be a “rest of the world” list, with simplified travel measures,” UK high commissioner in Nigeria Catriona Laing said in a statement.

Liang said the “rest of the world” list will include countries currently on the UK’s amber list, such as Nigeria.

Some Nigerians had lamented ‘frustrating’ COVID-19 rules when leaving for the United Kingdom, with many complaining that the vaccines administered to them in Nigeria were not recognised.

But the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said Nigerian officials “are in talks with the UK government’ over the issues.

Shuaib, however, said all the vaccines administered in Nigeria were recognised by the UK and stated that the UK had three classifications for vaccination by countries – green, amber and red – of which Nigeria is on the amber list.

Liang also noted that reports suggesting that the COVID-19 vaccines administered in Nigeria are not approved by the UK are untrue.

The UK high commissioner in Nigeria said the UK recognises the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson’s and Johnson’s vaccines used in Nigeria, irrespective of where they are manufactured.

She said the UK government is committed to opening up international travel while using its COVID-19 vaccination certification process to enable those wishing to enter the UK to do so safely.

“We know this matters hugely to many people in the UK and Nigeria – the extensive people-people ties between our two countries are at the heart of our bilateral relationship,” Liang said.

She also explained that travel rules are kept under regular review and people planning to travel to the UK should regularly check the latest information and requirements as set out on the website.

Liang stated that the UK is committed to global access to vaccines, and is among the largest funders to COVAX, noting that the UK has donated 1.2 million vaccines specifically to Nigeria through COVAX and will continue to provide support.

“The UK strongly supports the work of the Nigerian health authorities and Nigeria’s vaccination campaign, and strongly encourages all eligible residents in Nigeria to get vaccinated. Only once we are all vaccinated we can end the spread of COVID-19,” Liang said.