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The new travel guidelines recently introduced by the United Kingdom to curtail the spread of deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the UK may have come late but the effect of the new rule would help to drastically reduce the scourge.
The two or multiple tests now required for people entering the UK is one that Nigerian government had long handed down to people coming into Nigeria because it wanted to ensure it protects the people.
Before now, travelers to UK did not require COVID-19 test certificates to make direct trip to London and other cities in the country. The rule was lax; one of the reasons for the spike in cases associated with coronavirus for both nations.
The entry requirement is that anybody coming into Nigeria would get a negative COVID-19 test certificate with another seven day reconfirmation of a negative test result in any of the approved laboratories.
The monitoring of people coming to the country for a second test result may have made the regulation inefficient and one that has not totally addressed the procurement of fake COVID-19 test certificates that was prevalent before the Federal Government intervened to make the process more credible.
The biggest beneficiaries of this new UK rule are British Airways, the other airline from UK and by extension, Nigerians travelling to the UK which has become the proverbial second home for Nigerians.
The new guideline which became effective this February for entry into the UK excludes Nigeria from a ‘Red List’ of 33 countries that include the United Arab Emirates and 17 African countries.
The 17 African nations on the list are Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, DRC, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius
Others are Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
For those on the Red List but with resident permit and those holding citizenship of the UK, arrivals in England from these 33 countries will have to pay some €2000 to isolate for 10days in a pre-booked Government secured hotel room.
Breaking the rules could see people charged fines of up to €11,500 or even face 10y ears in prison, according to the UK government.
As with all other travellers, in addition to having a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours prior to arrival, anyone arriving into England who has visited or been in transit through one of the red list countries in the last 10 days will be required to purchase the quarantine package before boarding a flight.
The package includes the government approved hotel accommodation, COVID-19 tests on the second and eight days of quarantine and assigned transportation. Travellers have to pre-book on the UK government website.
Country Commercial Manager, Nigeria and West Africa, Mrs. Adetutu Otuyalo said, “Everyone else travelling to the UK must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the three days before travel, book and pay for a travel test package, which is COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day two and on or after day 8 of your home quarantine”.Google+