The United Kingdom on Monday said that student and work visa applications will be processed despite travel restrictions imposed on Nigeria amid the outbreak of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The British High Commission, Abuja, made this known in a statement titled, ‘Statement from British High Commission on UK visa applications’.
The High Commission had on Sunday said it will “pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted”.
But in an update on Monday, the UK said visa applications in other categories such as for persons who wish to study, work or live permanently, will continue to be processed.
“To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID 19 and associated variants of concern, UK Visas & Immigration have paused making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries until travel restrictions are lifted.
“Applications in other categories (student/work/live permanently in the UK) will continue to be processed.
“If you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England, once you arrive you must quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel (the day you arrive in England is day 0),” the statement read in part.
Britain had on Saturday banned Nigerian travellers after it said it discovered 21 cases of the Omicron variant in people who recently visited Nigeria, saying the measure was a temporary measure aimed at protecting its public health.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, subsequently said the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 would respond to the travel ban.
Mohammed, at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, described the travel ban as discriminatory.
Also, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Sharafa Ishola, described the travel ban as apartheid.
President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, had also described the travel ban by the West on African countries as discriminatory.