Nigeria to ban arrivals from 4 countries to reciprocate restrictions over new COVID-19 variant

Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika

Lagos, Nigeria | Xinhua | The Nigerian government on Sunday announced its intention to ban arrivals from Canada, Britain, Argentina and Saudi Arabia from Tuesday, after the four countries added Nigeria on their red list and banned foreign travels from the country after detection of a new coronavirus variant.

The decision was to reciprocate restricted flights from Nigeria into those countries over the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, said Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika at a news conference in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub.

Sirika said if those countries placed Nigeria on a red list, they lacked the moral right to have their airlines fly into Nigeria on commercial operations.

“I participated in a meeting with the COVID-19 task force, and we gave our input that it is not acceptable to us and we recommended that Canada, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Argentina be put on the “red list,” he said.

“As they did to us, if they do not allow our citizens into their countries…They are not supposed to come in. I am very sure in the next three days, on Monday or Tuesday, all those countries will be put on the red list of COVID-19,” said the minister.

Sirika apologized to Nigerians, intending to travel to those countries, but said the Nigerian government’s decision was in the interest of the country.

Nigerian authorities have confirmed six imported cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the country since the country reported first Omicron cases On December 1.

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Xinhua

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