COVID-19 Omicron Variant: UK Listed Nigeria Among Red List Countries .. FG Fumes

By Bukar Bolori

The British High Commission has said it will pause “making decisions” on visitor visa applications from all red list countries, which includes Nigeria.
The decision was announced in a statement issued by the commission on Sunday.

The development comes hours after the UK added Nigeria to its travel red list after a variant of COVID-19 virus, Omicron was discovered in the country

The statement read in part: “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern (VOC), UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted,”

It listed that visit visas cover travel to UK for tourism, visiting family and friends, undertaking short-term business activities (for example, attending meetings), undertaking short-term studies (under 6 months), taking part in research or exchange programmes as an academic, and medical reasons (for example, receiving private medical treatment).

The statement added that: “If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK Immigration Rules, your application will be paused. You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place.

“You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).”

The statement also revealed that: “If you already hold a valid visit visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter.”

It however Rev that separate guidance is available for travellers entering Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The statement said only where there are compelling and compassionate circumstances will visit visas be issued or entry permitted to visit England from a red list country whilst travel restrictions remain in place, noting that there are only limited exemptions to travel and entry requirements for critical workers and medical and compassionate cases.b

The federal government reacting to the ban through the Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire Osage said it’s unfortunate that UK government is taking such decision when all hands should be on deck to tackle the Omicron variant.

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