In a tit-for-tat spat over Omicron variant travel restrictions, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will be barred from flying to Nigeria.
The Nigerian government declared a reciprocal travel restriction against the United Kingdom on Sunday after the British government added Nigeria to its ‘Red List’ of countries to avoid because of Omicron worries.
Because they have imposed comparable restrictions that expressly target Nigeria, the reciprocal travel ban will also apply to Argentina, Canada, and Saudi Arabia.
The Omicron variation was first discovered in South Africa and Botswana, and was limited to a handful of southern African countries for a time. The mutation was discovered rapidly in West Africa, but it has already spread to at least 57 nations.
Omicron is thought to be highly transmissible, and it is expected to become the dominant variety in a short period of time.
Experts have questioned the usefulness and current need for simplistic country-specific travel bans, believing that the strain will take over from Delta infections in the UK by mid-December.
The United Kingdom has not officially prohibited flights to and from Nigeria, but only British citizens and visa holders are permitted to fly to the UK.
Upon arrival, passengers are detained for ten days in a government-approved quarantine hotel.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have continued to serve Lagos and Abuja despite the flying embargo.
Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s aviation minister, suggested on Sunday that four countries should be added to a Nigerian travel blacklist.
Sirika predicted that the hurriedly put-together Red List will be operational by Tuesday, with all airlines from those nations forbidden from traveling to Nigeria.
It was stated that the Red List was developed entirely out of reciprocity, not because of COVID-19 concerns.
Despite Omicron illnesses spreading fast throughout the British population, Nigeria was placed on the Red List on December 6.
The World Health Organization has slammed country-specific travel prohibitions, urging all countries to ease travel restrictions as soon as possible.
Sajid Javid, the UK’s Health Secretary, has hinted that the Omicron travel prohibitions may be lifted in the near future but has not specified a timeframe.