Dean Hurlock: UK Won’t Reverse Travel Ban Over FG’s Threat

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• Press statement on travel ban stands despite FG’s
planned retaliation – High Commission
• UK, others lack moral rights to allow their airlines to come
to Nigeria, says aviation minister
• We have recommended travel ban for Canada, United
Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, others
The British High Commission on Sunday said the United
Kingdom would not reverse its travel ban on Nigeria
because of a threat of retaliation by the Federal
Government.
The spokesman for the British High Commission, Dean
Hurlock, said this in response to an inquiry by The
over a statement by the Minister of
Aviation, Hadi Sirika, that the UK, Canada and Saudi
Arabia would be put on Nigeria’s travel ban on Tuesday.
Hurlock stated that Britain had made it clear that travel
abroad would be different this year, adding that the UK
was sticking to its “standard background lines.”
In a text message to the high commission, one of our
correspondents stated that the Federal Government had
said it would place a travel ban on the UK as a retaliatory
move.
The correspondent then asked, “Will that make the UK to
rescind its travel ban?”
In his response, Hurlock stated, “The UK Government
propose sticking to our standard background lines on
whether ‘x’ country will put us on the red list and avoid
getting into hypothetical situations.
“The UK government has been clear that travel abroad
will be different this year and countries may impose
border measures at short notice in line with their own
coronavirus policies.”
He added that the Foreign, Commonwealth and
Development Office travel advice was kept under
constant review and asked travellers to continue to check
it for entry requirements of the destination they plan to
visit.
“Travellers can also sign up for e-mail alerts on GOV.UK
to get the latest updates as soon as they happen. We are
in regular conversations with other countries about their
travel policies,” Hurlock explained.
Position stated in our press statement of last weekend
still stands at present – UK high commission
In an earlier response to The PUNCH correspondent’s
enquiry, he said, “The position stated in our press release
of last weekend still stands at present
In the press release, the UK had said Nigeria would be
added to the travel red list as from 4am on December 6
following 21 cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19
reported in England, which had travel history from
Nigeria.
“These are temporary measures that have been
introduced to prevent further omicron cases from
entering the UK and will be examined at the three-week
review point on 20 December.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing,
had said Omicron cases in the UK had clear links to
overseas travel from Nigeria and South Africa.
Also On Thursday, Laing, in an interview with Channels
Television, insisted that the travel ban was evidence-
based.
According to her 19 out of 21 passengers with Omicron
variant with Nigeria’s travel history flew directly to Britain
from Nigeria.
But the Minister of Aviation, Sirika, in an interview with
the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday said the
Federal Government would place travel ban on the UK,
Canada, Argentina and Saudi Arabia as a retaliation for
the travel restriction on Nigeria.
He disclosed the Federal Government would restrict
airlines coming from Canada, the UK and Saudi Arabia
into Nigeria