The United Kingdom has defended its decision to impose travel ban on Nigeria and other African nations following the detection of the Omicron Covid variant.
According to its High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, the ban was based on science and not discriminatory, adding that it won’t be reversed.
“I think I can say comfortably, it is not [discriminatory]. When the UK was the epicentre of the Alpha variant, we took some very tough measures ourselves to essentially cut ourselves off and we banned all but essential travels from the UK. So, that was a very tough decision for us,” the envoy said today.
“The UK has been red-listed in earlier stages of these variants; I think when [the] Delta variant took off, we were red-listed by Austria and by France and Turkey. We have not just red-listed, in the first, African countries. So, Pakistan was red-listed, Turkey was red-listed by the UK when we had our previous red-list. So, it is based on an individual deep-diving assessment of each country.”
According to her, the British Government is aware of the reactions and condemnation from across the world following the move but maintained that the development will not push them to reverse the ban.
“The reactions have been loud and clear but I don’t want to suggest to anybody that that would change the basis of the decision because that health basis has to be the basis on which the decision has to be made,” she added.