The United Kingdom has provided an update on its travel ban for travellers for 11 countries, saying student and work visas, as well as visas for those who want to live permanently in the country, will now be processed.
The clarification was made in a statement on Monday.
British Health Minister Sajid Javid, had on Saturday, announced that Nigeria will be added to Britain’s travel “red list” at 0400 GMT on Monday (today), stating that 21 cases of the Omicron COVID variant were reportedly linked to travel from Nigeria.
The British High Commission on Sunday subsequently announced that it will “pause making decisions” on visitor visa applications from all red list countries, including Nigeria.
The decision of the UK government had led to protests in Nigeria, with some describing it as a knee-jerk decision and calling for reciprocity by the Nigerian government.
But in the new update released 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.
The statement read: “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID 19 and associated variants of concern (VOC), UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) 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 British government also stated that anyone who wishes to get their passport back after they had made a visitor visa application before the travel restriction should contact the Visa Application Centre (VAC).
The statement read: “If you had already made a visit visa application before the travel restrictions in Nigeria started and wish to get your passport back whilst your visit visa application is paused, you can contact the VAC where you submitted your application and request return of your passport.
“If you have yet to apply for a visit visa from a red list country and decide to go ahead with your application, when you attend your Visa Application Centre (VAC) appointment you can either: submit your passport with your application or pay the ‘keep my passport’ fee to retain your passport whilst the pause is in place.
“If you decide to submit your passport when making your application and later require it back, you will need to pay the ‘keep my passport’ fee and either collect in person at the VAC or pay for a courier service for your passport to be returned to you.”
“Once you have contacted the VAC to request the return of your passport, you will need to either collect in person for free at the VAC or request a courier service for your passport to be returned to you.