The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, says it is “morally wrong” for the United Kingdom and other western countries to slam travel bans on Nigeria, South Africa and other African nations over the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The cleric thus urged the UK government to remove Nigeria and other countries from its travel red list.
In a series of tweets yesterday, the Archbishop said the UK should avoid “travel apartheid” echoing the words of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador Sarafa Isola.
“With Omicron set to become the dominant variant in the UK, I appeal to the British government to remove Nigeria and South Africa from the red list – together with all other countries currently on it,” he wrote.
“We must find fair and effective approaches for those who are vaccinated and tested to enter the UK. I agree with the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK – we cannot have ‘travel apartheid’.”
Welby also stated that it was wrong to punish countries that are transparent with their discoveries regarding Covid-19.
He, however, canvassed for vaccine equity and condemned the hoarding of doses urging for cooperation to get vaccines to countries that need it the most.
“It is also morally wrong – and self-defeating – effectively to punish other nations for being transparent when they discover new Covid variants, as Archbishop of Cape Town (Thabo Makgoba) has said.
“The only route out of this pandemic is vaccine equity. We must end vaccine nationalism and stockpiling. We must get vaccines distributed in countries that need them the most. The choice is vaccine nationalism or human solidarity,” the Archbishop added.