A bride set to be married in Nigeria this month has said her wedding “will not be the same” after the country’s “unjust” move to the UK’s red list.
In a bid to slow the spread of Covid’s Omicron variant, the Government announced that UK and Irish citizens and residents arriving from Nigeria must spend 10 days in hotel quarantine and have two negative PCR test results.
Comfort Nsek said her parents, who travelled to the west African country at the end of November to finalise wedding plans, will have to pay £3,715 to quarantine after the wedding on December 22.
“(It’s) money I know that they do not have,” the 31-year-old solicitor from London told the PA news agency.
“My dad will be unable to work for the 10 days and will still be expected to pay his rent, council tax, TV licence electricity and gas bill, water and food.
“With the financial pressure on my dad, my friends cancelling their flights and my brother stuck in the UK due to lack of quarantine hotel funds, the wedding will not be the same.
“This is unjust.”
The wedding will not be the same.
Ms Nsek said her brother can no longer attend and friends have cancelled since the Government laid out the new rules, which came into effect at 4am on Monday.
“Since the announcement, our friends have notified us that they can no longer attend our wedding in Nigeria due to the cost implications,” Ms Nsek said.
“My brother, who is a PhD student, will also be forced to miss the wedding as he cannot afford to quarantine in a government hotel.”
Ms Nsek added that she still plans to fly to Nigeria for the wedding.
“I still plan to travel to Nigeria for my wedding as we have made a lot of financial sacrifice and the wedding cannot be cancelled on such a short notice,” she said.
“I was surprised by the sudden restriction.”
The Nigerian High Commissioner to London, Sarafa Tunji Isola, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “Nigeria is actually aligned with the position of the UN secretary-general that the travel ban is apartheid, in the sense that we’re not dealing with an endemic situation, we are dealing with a pandemic situation and what is expected is a global approach, not selective.”
Policing minister Kit Malthouse said while he understands the difficulties caused by such measures, the phrase “travel apartheid” is “very unfortunate language”.
He told Today: “It’s very unfortunate language to use.
“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 at Porton Down can work on the virus and assess how difficult it's going to be for us to cope with as a country.”