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Covid-19: UK begins mandatory hotel quarantines for arrivals from ‘high-risk’ countries

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The UK on Monday began a mandatory hotel quarantine regime for arrivals from dozens of countries deemed “high risk” in a bid to prevent the spread of new coronavirus cases.

The new policy requires all UK citizens and permanent residents entering England from 33 countries on a wider travel ban list to self-isolate in a mandatory quarantine at approved hotels for 10 days and take several Covid-19 tests.

Other visitors from the countries currently on the so-called “red list”, which includes all South American nations, South Africa and Portugal, are currently barred from visiting under lockdown rules.

Arrivals found to have given false information about being in one of the countries 10 days before travel could receive up to 10 years in prison – which has drawn criticism for being excessive

The government says it has signed contracts with 16 hotels so far, securing nearly 5,000 rooms near English airports, with a further 58,000 rooms on standby.

“The rules coming into force today will bolster the quarantine system and provide another layer of security against new variants at the border,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock, adding that they would also protect the national vaccination programme as the country worked “towards restoring normal life”.

In an interview with Times Radio Monday morning, Hancock said the quarantine system appeared to be working smoothly so far.

“As of 6.30, when I got my latest update, this is working smoothly, we’ve been working with the airports and with the border force to make sure everybody knows the process,” said Hancock.

‘Special permission’ to leave hotel rooms

The 11-night quarantine will cost people £1,750 ($2,420, 2,000 euros) and includes transport, food, accommodation and security costs, as well as other essential services and testing.

Passengers must have a negative Covid-19UKtest result from within three days of travel, and book and pay for the package before setting off for Britain.

They will then take further tests on day two and eight of their stays.

The hotel occupants will only be able to leave their rooms in “very limited circumstances”, with exercise among them but requiring “special permission” from staff or security.

Anyone refusing to take tests risks a fine of between £1,000 and £2,000, while those who do not self-isolate could have to pay between £5,000 and £10,000.

A limited list of exemptions from the measures include haulers travelling from Portugal, defence personnel, visiting forces, government contractors and diplomatic missions.

‘Can’t be easy’

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Sunday the new regime would provide “extra safeguarding” as Britain looks to ease strict lockdown measures next month after weeks of falling infection rates.

“We think we’ve got the right balance – robust measures, but targeted measures,” he told Sky News, branding calls for a blanket travel ban disproportionate.

The UK government unveiled the plans earlier this month following pressure to tighten Britain’s borders amid fears foreign virus variants could derail the country’s so far successful mass vaccination programme.

It has vaccinated 15 million of the most vulnerable people with a first jab, and is looking to inoculate all over-50s by May.

Ministers last month scrapped the previous “travel corridors” system that allowed unchecked travel from countries with lower caseloads.

The UK now requires all arrivals from non-“red list” countries to show negative Covid-19 tests and then self-isolate for 10 days at a place of their own choosing.

However, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeonhas urged the UK government to impose the new hotel quarantine system on arrivals from every country.

Wales, which receives fewer international arrivals than its larger UK neighbours, has said it will not adopt hotel quarantines while Northern Ireland is still to decide.

The British government said it had met with stakeholders from various sectors including aviation and hospitality ahead of finalising its plans.

Charlie Islam-Harry, manager of the St Giles Heathrow hotel, said staff would do regular welfare checks on guests during their enforced stays.

“It can’t be easy for them to be in a bedroom for 10 days, not having to go anywhere,” she told AFP.

“But obviously while they are quarantined we try to keep as much distance as possible because we obviously don’t know their health situation.”

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Nigeria received their first covid-19 vaccine

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A historical moment, Nigeria has just received It’s first wave of Covid-19 vaccine.

The 4 million procured through COVAX is a historical step towards the Nigeria goal To ensure equitable distribution of COVID 19 vaccines globally.

This is an unprecedented global effort to make sure everyone has access to the vaccine.

See photos below

Nigeria

Nigeria


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Willie Obiano disclosed that Herdsmen’s are criminals

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The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has said any herdsman found carrying a gun in the state should be treated as a criminal.

The governor said it was unwise to treat criminals with levity, adding that a fresh census for all herdsmen in the state has commenced and that once the exercise was concluded, the state will no longer tolerate itinerant cattle herders settling in the state or even passing through the state with their herds.

Obiano stated this yesterday in a stakeholders’ meeting on security with heads of various communities, security chiefs, traditional rulers and other groups, on the need to maintain security in the state.

He said, “We have done a census of herders in Anambra State last year and they were 77 in number. We are doing a new one now, and after the census, we will never allow itinerant herdsmen to come in again.

“The ones causing trouble are not here (Anambra), they come in from outside. Also, we have heard reports of herdsmen who carry arms. Any herdsmen carrying arms is a criminal and we will not tolerate that. If you find them, report them because they are criminals.

The governor also said that his government takes security seriously, which is the reason the state has been proclaimed the safest in the country. He also added that his administration has been very supportive of security agencies in the state, as security remained everyone’s business.

“Anything about security is number one for me. We thank our security agencies for keeping Anambra on the high as the safest state in Nigeria.

“I have distributed over 520 vehicles to security agencies in the state and I made a designated petrol station where you go to take fuel to avoid saying you don’t have fuel when you get distress calls. Today, every police vehicle you see running around is fueled by me,” he said.


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Governor Obiano Mourns the Death of Chimamanda Adichie mother’s death

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Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has expressed deep sadness over the sudden death of Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie, mother of the famous novelist and writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Reacting to the sad news, Governor Obiano said he was grieved by Mrs Adichie’s death, upon hearing of it.

“I was saddened by the sad news of Mrs Adichie’s death and I sympathize with her children and the entire Adichie family who are again thrown into mourning just a few months after burying their father, Prof James Adichie. This is indeed a grievous loss.

“Mrs Adichie lived a life of selfless service. Her contribution and great service to Anambra State will not be forgotten. I pray for the peaceful repose of her soul”, he said.

Mrs Adichie was a member of the Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, ASUBEB and a former registrar of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She died on Monday, March 1st, 2021. She was 78 years old


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