The British High Commission has drcided to pause “making decisions” on visitor visa applications from all red list countries, Nigeria inclusive.
This is following a similar drcision by the United States of America to block all appointments for visa from now till the end of 2022.
The decision by Britain was announced in a statement issued by the commission on Sunday 5 December 2021.
The development comes hours after the UK added Nigeria to its travel red list.
“To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern (VOC), UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted,” the statement reads.
The South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) had, on November 25, announced the discovery of 22 positive cases of the new Omicron variant.
Following the discovery, a number of countries banned travel from countries in southern Africa.
The UK had also placed a temporary ban on air travel from six southern African countries — South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe — with immediate effect to prevent importation of the variant into Britain.
According to the new protocol announced on Saturday, non-UK and non-Irish citizens who are travelling in from Nigeria will not be allowed entry into the UK.
“Over the recent days, we have learned of a significant number of growing cases linked to travel with Nigeria. There are 27 cases already in England and that’s growing. Nigeria narrows second only to South Africa in terms of cases linked to Omicron,” he said.