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UK bans flights from Nigeria over new COVID-19 variant

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The United Kingdom on Saturday banned flights from Nigeria over the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

The UK Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, who announced this on his verified Twitter handle, said the ban would take effect from Monday.

He added that only the citizens of the UK and Ireland travelling from Nigeria would be allowed entry into Britain.

The health secretary also revealed that travellers from countries not included in the UK’s Red List would only be required to take a test before they arrive in the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had during the week confirmed two cases of the new variant in the country.

The Omicron has sparked global concerns since its discovery in South Africa.

The new variant was first detected in Belgium on November 27.

READ ALSO: UK bans flights from Tanzania, DR Congo

Several countries including Australia, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom and the United States had confirmed cases.

Javid wrote “In light of the most recent data we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the Omicron variant.

“From 4:00 a.m. Monday, only UK/Irish citizens and residents travelling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility.

“And from 4:00 a.m. Tuesday, anyone travelling to the UK from countries not on the Red List will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their vaccination status.”

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