The coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a halt in 2020, leaving a lot of countries with no option but to close their borders to curtail the spread of the virus. To date, the world is still battling COVID-19 in its different variants.
Around the first quarter of 2021, it began to seem like the world was moving on. Restrictions were lifted by many countries, while a lot of borders were opened to international travellers.
In late November, South Africa, unfortunately, reported a new variant of COVID-19 (Omicron), which has once again made the virus a serious issue of global concern.
When countries across the globe started to report cases of Omicron variant, most of them consequently closed their borders to foreigners.
Currently, the Omicron variant has been detected in 38 countries according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
It did not help that WHO labelled Omicron as a variant of concern while research is ongoing to determine the extent of its transmissibility, severity, or implications for COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.
The travel ban is now a major source of concern for countries that have been banned, particularly travellers from some Southern African countries where cases of the new variant have been recorded.
Nigeria was recently added to Canada and UK’s red lists after it was reported that some people who travelled into both countries had travel links with Nigeria.
Before the WHO made the call for countries to drop their travel restrictions and end the mass hysteria, most nations had already locked up their borders.
Fortunately, some travellers from Nigeria, who wish to journey into any of these countries that have added her to their red list have no cause for alarm.
The exception to the travel ban is albeit subject to the conditions provided by each country.
Below are conditions required to travel into Canada, America, or the United Kingdom.
The ban Canada placed on travellers from Nigeria and some other countries is to be in force till further notice.
According to Canada, those arriving by air or land, who have been in any country other than Canada and the United States in the 14 days prior to entry to Canada, will all be subject to arrival testing and enhanced public health measures.
The above is however subject to some exceptions.
Those excluded from the Canada ban include persons who enjoy the right of entry into Canada. They include Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons under the Indian Act.
The above-listed category of persons however needs to undergo pre-entry and arrival testing, screening, and quarantine measures.
The United States of America on Thursday announced that all international travellers entering the country must undergo a pre-entry COVID-19 test, 24 hours before travelling into the U.S. This is regardless of their vaccination status or nationality.
In addition, it becomes mandatory for international and domestic travellers to wear masks on aircraft, trains, and public transportation throughout the winter months.
United Kingdom (UK)
The UK has banned Nigerian from entering its territory on Monday, making her the 11th country to be added to UK’s red list. The restrictions however permit entry into the UK for a British citizen, Irish National or anyone with a right of residence in the UK, including international students.
According to the UK Government, travellers coming to the UK would be required to produce a positive Covid test before departure.
The above category of permitted persons will have to pay £2,280 and self-isolate in a pre-booked government-approved hotel for 10 days.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Monday, responded by calling on the British Authority to immediately rescind its ban on foreign travels from Nigeria.
Nigeria reviews travel protocol
On December 4, 2021, the Nigerian Government reviewed the international travel protocol amidst the growing rate of Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country.
According to Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, all passengers arriving in Nigeria are expected to provide evidence of COVID-19 PCR test, which is to be done within 48 hours before departure, post-arrival day 2 COVID-19 PCR test, self-isolation for 7 days (for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals), and day 7 post-arrival exit PCR test (for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals).