The British High Commission in Nigeria has said that the new rules for international travel into the United Kingdom announced on Saturday by the High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, will subject Nigerians and national of others countries to pre-departure COVID-19 test.
A statement issued yesterday by Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, Senior Communications & Public Diplomacy Officer, British High Commission, Abuja, said this clarification became necessary following the interests and perhaps anxiety the decision generated from members of the Nigerian public.
The statement said that from 4 October, all travellers to England from the majority of countries that are currently on the amber list, including Nigeria, “must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before travel, book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival, complete a passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before arrival.
“After they arrive, travellers must quarantine/self-isolate at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days, take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8”
The UK said it understands that there has been some frustration that the new travel rules will continue to require people travelling to the UK from Nigeria to quarantine despite having received two doses of recognised COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria.
It however, noted that it is working with the United States and the European Union to recognise Nigeria’s vaccine certificate.
“In the spirit of our long-term partnership – we are working with Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to ensure that this happens as soon as possible, “the statement said.
It said further that “From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.
“All travellers who have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days prior to travelling, will only be allowed to enter the UK if they are a British or Irish national or if they have residence rights in the UK. On arrival they must quarantine in a managed hotel, and take 2 COVID-19 tests. Further details are available on the gov.uk website.”
The statement noted that travellers may be able to end quarantine/self-isolation early if they pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.
“From 4 October, vaccinated travellers from a small number of countries and territories – the majority of which are currently on the green list – will be exempt from quarantine and from certain testing requirements, provided they can prove their vaccination status and other requirements are met, including having booked a day 2 test.
“This approach will be kept under regular review and further changes are likely as part of a phased opening up of international travel for vaccinated travellers. The UK is committed to opening up international travel and we are using our COVID-19 vaccine certification process to enable all those wishing to enter the UK to do so safely,” it said.