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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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Don’t accept wike’s deceptive Financial bribe- IPOB warns IMO communities

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IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has warned the people of Ohaji Local Government Area of Imo State against ceding their land to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

IPOB cautioned the people of Ohaji against accepting Wike’s alleged satanic and deceptive financial inducement.

Emma Powerful, the spokesman of IPOB, issued the warning in reaction to an alleged illegal and undocumented ceding of communities in Ohaji Local Government Area to Wike.

Powerful warned that ceding their communities to Wike would affect their children’s future; hence such a deceptive move should be rejected.

He urged the communities to treat whoever is persuading them to change their state of origin as a criminal.

Powerful noted that accepting to change their state of origin for the sake of N150,000 monthly is evil.

A statement by Powerful reads partly: “Following an illegal undocumented treaty to cede communities of Ohaji Egbema LGA from Imo State to Rivers State via a crooked financial inducement by current Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

“We the global family and movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU wish to warn that such project is called to a halt to avert inevitable consequences.

“We suggest to the communities that fall into this deceptive venture masterminded by Nyesom Wike to retrace their steps, considering that this singular act could attract futuristic destructive effects.

“IPOB was intimated with the information regarding Governor Wike’s plan, which includes conditional future promises and haven gone through these moves realized that Wike will abandon them in future because governor Wike cannot be in charge of Rivers State beyond his tenor as a current Governor.

“It is a known fact that the Imo State government failed in their obligations as it concerns the predicaments they are facing in that area, but they must forget Wike with his satanic offer. Wike’s deceptive offer would harm them and their children in the future as such may not be sustainable by successive governments. Moreover, the Biafra restoration approaches hastily.

“IPOB is advising them to retrace their steps and watch what God Almighty has in stock for them; changing God Almighty’s plans for children will harm the communities in the future, for God to have placed you where you are today does not mean that he has abandoned you.

“The communities or anybody persuading them to change their State of origin identity and be acquired like slaves with cash value of N150 (One Hundred and Fifty Naira Only) is evil and must be treated as criminal because we don’t see where old men and women, youths and educated people would allow such an undocumented territorial treaty due to hunger and abandonment.”


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2023 elections: Pastor David Ibiyeomie tells Nigerians who to vote

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Pastor David

Pastor David Ibiyeomieof Salvation Ministries has addressed Nigerians on those to vote ahead of the 2023 general elections

Ibiyeomie urged Nigerians to vote for politicians with a vision for the country and not a politician.

He gave the remark while addressing his members at the church’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Pastor David Ibiyeomie noted that anyone who collects money to vote in the forthcoming election sold their conscience, stressing that electorates should vote for a statesman.

According to Ibiyeomie: “If you take money to vote, then you have sold your conscience. When we are shouting, you people will say I don’t shout. I am shouting now. Don’t collect bribes to vote, vote for your conscience.

“Don’t vote party again in Nigeria; vote for someone who has a vision. Nigeria is in the woods; she needs someone who has a vision.

“No politician should be voted; vote for a statesman instead. A statesman thinks of the next generation, a politician thinks only of the 2023 general elections.”


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Interpol arrests three Nigerians for international scam

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Interpol

The International Police (INTERPOL) has arrested three Nigerians over alleged global scam.

The trio were arrested in a sting operation conducted simultaneously in a Lagos suburb, Ajegunle and in Benin City, 300 km to the East of the commercial capital.

One of the scammers, Hendrix Omorume has been charged and convicted and now faces a 12-month prison sentence.

The three men, aged between 31 and 38, were each arrested in possession of fake documents, including fraudulent invoices and forged official letters.

The investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The operation is part of a global operation codenamed “Killer Bee” involving INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and law enforcement in 11 countries across Southeast Asia.

According to INTERPOL’s Director of Cybercrime, Craig Jones, the organisation had “to alert Nigeria to a serious security threat where millions could have been lost without swift police action.”

The laptops and mobile phones seized by EFCC during the arrests, were examined by the INTERPOL to help confirm the systematic use of “Agent Tesla” malware to access business computers and divert monetary transactions to their own accounts.


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