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Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury Official Portrait House of Lords.jpg header3.jpg
UK News

'We are one human family': Archbishop slams red list inclusion of Nigeria

by Premier Journalist

The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised the UK government for red listing Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa for travel.

Most Rev Justin Welby said the decision implies forgetting the needs of others and urged “vaccine equity and solidarity”.

The travel bans, which came into force today in response to the Omicron variant of coronavirus, means UK and Irish residents arriving from Nigeria must isolate in a government - approved hotel for ten days, at their own cost, and have two negative PCR tests before being allowed out.

It is estimated that one adult quarantining in an approved hotel for ten days and 11-nights would cost £2,285. Children would be extra.

The ban means all non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents who have been in Nigeria in the last ten days will be refused entry into the UK.

The news comes after 21 cases of Omicron were reported in England linked to travel from Nigeria, with 134 known UK cases now in total.

Writing on twitter today, Archbishop Justin said that the African countries would be made to suffer from the travel bans.

He said: “It’s very disappointing that Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa are red listed - countries already suffering, that will suffer more from travel bans. This decision only makes sense if we forget the needs of others, and it shows the urgent need for vaccine equity and solidarity.”

He added that he would be continuing to pray for those making decisions, and those affected. He said: “We are one human family and we will not be safe from this virus anywhere until we are safe everywhere.”

People took to twitter en mass to express their disappointment about the decision, with some calling it “travel apartheid”.

Sarafa Tunji Isola, Nigeria's high commissioner to the UK, told the BBC: "What is expected is a global approach, not selective."

He also echoed comments made by the UN's chief, who described restrictions imposed on some southern African countries as "travel apartheid".

UK government minister Kit Malthouse said the wording "travel apartheid" was "very unfortunate language".

"We understand the difficulties that's created by these travel restrictions, but we're trying to buy a little bit of time so that our scientists can work on the virus and assess how difficult

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