Thursday , March 23 2023

Omicron: Fed. Govt. to  Reciprocate UK, Saudi, Canada travel ban says Sirika

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The Federal Government has threatened to ban travellers and airlines from Canada, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Argentina if they do not take Nigeria off their red list.

The countries had included Nigeria among nations restricted over the Omicron COVID variant.

The ban imposed on Nigeria and some other African countries has triggered backlash, with many demanding a review of the action.

However, the countries which took the action have refused to bulge.

Reacting to the development, Minister of Aviation, Senator. Hadi Sirika, said those countries will be out on the red list not later than Tuesday, if they do not remove Nigeria from the list of banned countries.

He said the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID has met and reviewed the various travel ban placed on Nigerian citizens and concluded that the ban was unacceptable.

“There is also the case of Saudi Arabia, which put Nigeria on the banned list. No visa, travels into that county and so also Canada and the United Kingdom. And so today there was a zoom meeting by the COVID-19 Task Force, which I participated, we have said the ban isn’t acceptable by us and recommend that Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia and Argentina be also on red list.”

“If they don’t allow Nigerian citizens to get into their country, their airlines and citizens shouldn’t come to Nigeria too. I’m very sure between now and Monday, perhaps Tuesday maximum, all those countries will be out on red list from the Task Force of COVID-19.
Once they are put on red list, their airlines will also be banned” he said.

The development comes after the Federal Government reciprocated some restrictions that the United Arab Emirates aviation authorities took against Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest carrier.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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