• Press statement on travel ban stands despite FG’s planned retaliation – High Commission
• UK, others lack moral rights to allow their airlines to come to Nigeria, says aviation minister
• We have recommended travel ban for Canada, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, others
The British High Commission on Sunday said the United Kingdom would not reverse its travel ban on Nigeria because of a threat of retaliation by the Federal Government.
The spokesman for the British High Commission, Dean Hurlock, said this in response to an inquiry by The PUNCH on Sunday over a statement by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, that the UK, Canada and Saudi Arabia would be put on Nigeria’s travel ban on Tuesday.
Hurlock stated that Britain had made it clear that travel abroad would be different this year, adding that the UK was sticking to its “standard background lines.”
In a text message to the high commission, one of our correspondents stated that the Federal Government had said it would place a travel ban on the UK as a retaliatory move.
The correspondent then asked, “Will that make the UK to rescind its travel ban?”
In his response, Hurlock stated, “The UK Government propose sticking to our standard background lines on whether ‘x’ country will put us on the red list and avoid getting into hypothetical situations.
“The UK government has been clear that travel abroad will be different this year and countries may impose border measures at short notice in line with their own coronavirus policies.”
He added that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice was kept under constant review and asked travellers to continue to check it for entry requirements of the destination they plan to visit.
“Travellers can also sign up for e-mail alerts on GOV.UK to get the latest updates as soon as they happen. We are in regular conversations with other countries about their travel policies,” Hurlock explained.
Position stated in our press statement of last weekend still stands at present – UK high commission
In an earlier response to The PUNCH correspondent’s enquiry, he said, “The position stated in our press release of last weekend still stands at present
In the press release, the UK had said Nigeria would be added to the travel red list as from 4am on December 6 following 21 cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 reported in England, which had travel history from Nigeria.
“These are temporary measures that have been introduced to prevent further omicron cases from entering the UK and will be examined at the three-week review point on 20 December.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, had said Omicron cases in the UK had clear links to overseas travel from Nigeria and South Africa.
Also On Thursday, Laing, in an interview with Channels Television, insisted that the travel ban was evidence-based.
According to her 19 out of 21 passengers with Omicron variant with Nigeria’s travel history flew directly to Britain from Nigeria.
But the Minister of Aviation, Sirika, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday said the Federal Government would place travel ban on the UK, Canada, Argentina and Saudi Arabia as a retaliation for the travel restriction on Nigeria.
He disclosed the Federal Government would restrict airlines coming from Canada, the UK and Saudi Arabia into Nigeria