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The United Kingdom (UK) in a bid to relaxed its COVID-19 vaccine policy released a list containing over 50 countries and Nigeria is not on that list.

The list which was published on the UK website shows the number of countries with the UK approved COVID-19 vaccination programme and proof of vaccination to travel to England which means any country not on the list its citizen will self-isolate for 10 days.

This means that fully vaccinated Nigerians travelling to the UK still need to self-isolate for 10 days.  But, Nigerian travellers have expressed displeasure over COVID-19 tests in the UK despite being fully vaccinated.

According to the Nation, the UK government had said Nigeria is on the ‘amber’ list, which has restrictions for travellers to the UK, irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID.

According to the UK website, starting from yesterday, the new travel system comes into force with countries and territories categorised as either “red” or “rest of the world” meaning the previous traffic light system of green, amber and red lists no longer valid.

“Fully vaccinated residents in other countries not yet part of the inbound policy, as well as those partially vaccinated, will still have to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests for day 2 and day 8 after arrival, and self-isolate for 10 days, with the option to test to release after 5 days,” the statement reads.

“The UK government is continuing to work with international partners as we seek to more regularly expand the policy to further countries and territories.”  

The government said the new simplified travel system meant that eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s returning from over 50 countries and territories, not on the red list, can do so without needing to complete a pre-departure test (PDT), a day 8 test or enter a 10-day self-isolation period, making it easier for those travelling.

It added that eligible fully vaccinated passengers with an approved vaccine and recognised certificate from a country not on the red list would be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.

Grant Shapps, U.S. transport secretary, said: “We are accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good, and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector.

“Our priority remains to protect public health but, with more than 8 in 10 people now fully vaccinated, we are able to take these steps to lower the cost of testing and help the sector to continue in its recovery.”

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