BY DAYO ADESULU
The United Kingdom has now recognized Nigerian travellers who are fully vaccinated in their country, adding that they would not be subjected to the pre-departure test, undertake a day eight test or self-isolate for ten days as previously required.
The new relaxation policy applies to Nigerians fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca (including Covidshield), Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. According to United Kingdom authorities, the new policy would take effect takes effect from Monday.
Recall that previously, Nigerian passengers who were fully vaccinated would be required to still quarantine in the UK for 10 days and take the COVID-19 test afterwards but the new policy has removed this quarantine procedure.
In a statement titled, ‘UK changes travel rules for fully vaccinated travellers from Nigeria,’ the British High Commission said the traveller must also have valid proof of vaccination recognised by the British Government which is the certificates with valid QR codes as issued by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
It read, “From Monday, 11 October 2021, fully vaccinated travellers from Nigeria will be able to come to England without needing to provide a pre-departure test, undertake a day 8 test or self-isolate for 10 days, although will still need to book and pay for a day 2 test.
“This policy applies to those fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca (including Covidshield), Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson). Fully vaccinated means that you have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.
“The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days. You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated under a vaccination programme and have a valid proof of vaccination recognised by the British Government: (for Nigeria, the certificates with valid QR codes as issued by Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency are recognised).”
But unvaccinated Nigerian traveller to England, the Commission clarified, is still required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken three days before travel, book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival and complete a passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before arrival.
“After you arrive, you must: quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days, take a pre-booked COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8,” the high commission further said.
The statement quoted the acting British High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, as saying, “The exemption of fully-vaccinated Nigerians travelling to the UK from providing a pre-departure test and self-isolating for 10 days, is a very welcome development.
“To make this happen, we have been working closely with Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency on recognising Nigeria’s vaccine certification, which we have now done.
“The UK remains committed to opening up international travel and enabling those who wish to enter the UK, to do so safely. Vaccines work and – as the pandemic has shown – no one is safe until we are all safe. I would encourage all eligible people to get vaccinated.”