Nigeria plans reciprocal ban on flights from four countries over Covid-19 Omicron variant
- Nation expects to put Argentina, Britain, Canada, Saudi Arabia on a ‘red list’ this week, says aviation minister Hadi Sirika, ‘just like they did to us’
- Several countries have restricted movement of people from some African nations since variant first detected
Several countries have restricted the movement of people from some African nations since the Omicron variant was first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong. It has since spread to at least 57 countries.
“We have given our input as aviation that it is not acceptable by us and we recommend that those countries, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia and Argentina be also put on red list, just like they did similarly to us,” Sirika said.
“So, I am very sure between now and Monday or perhaps Tuesday maximum, all those countries will be put on the red list. Once they are on the red list, which means they are banned, their airlines will also be banned.”
Britain was the first country to announce a travel “red list”, which Nigeria has described as unjust and unfair.
The World Health Organization has said countries should apply an “evidence-informed and risk-based approach” when deciding on travel measures related to Omicron, including possible screening or quarantine of international passengers, adding that blanket bans do not prevent its spread.