News 4 December 2021

Omicron Variant: Nigeria added to the red list & pre-departure COVID-19 tests reintroduced

4 December 2021
nigeria omicron red list

Nigeria has been added to the red list and all travellers arriving in the UK will need to take COVID-19 tests before they arrive in the UK under new plans announced by the health secretary as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

Tourists coming to the UK and people returning home from their travels will need to take a test before they can board a flight from Tuesday 7th December. People will need to take a Covid test at least 48 hours before their departure. They must then show their negative COVID-19 test result to airline staff.

From Monday 6th December, anyone returning home from Nigeria must quarantine in a Government approved hotel regardless of vaccine status.

This news follows the reintroduction of mask mandates and  Covid-19 prevention measures at the end of November over the Omicron variant that was identified by South African scientists.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that people must wear face coverings on public transport and in shops and initially six countries in Africa were added to the red list.

The current list of affected countries can be found here.

Sajid Javid said, “We’ve kept the data under review since last week when we learned about Omicron, and we’re seeing an increasing number of cases linked to travel and again, we’ve always said we’d act swiftly if we need to, if the changing data requires that. And that’s why we’ve decided to bring in this change on pre-departure tests.

“The measures that we introduced this time last week which were around the day two PCR tests when everyone arrives back in the UK and everyone self-isolating until you get a negative result, and some of the other measures around red listing, I think have been the right response but when the situation changes, if it requires more action, it’s absolutely right the government acts swiftly.”

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