The United Kingdom has omitted Nigeria from its list of countries with valid COVID-19 vaccine certificates.
This means fully vaccinated Nigerians travelling to the UK may still be required to isolate for 10 days on arrival in the country.
Nigeria was missing from the list despite not being on the UK’s COVID-19 red list.
No other African country was on the list.
The UK, in a statement on Monday, said it was taking “a phased approach to recognising vaccines administered by other countries and territories, building on the success of the pilot with the U.S. and Europe.
“Fully vaccinated residents in other countries not yet part of the inbound policy, as well as those partially vaccinated, will still have to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests for day 2 and day 8 after arrival, and self-isolate for 10 days, with the option to test to release after 5 days.
“The UK government is continuing to work with international partners as we seek to more regularly expand the policy to further countries and territories.”
Last month, the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong said the UK’s stance could increase vaccine hesitancy across Africa.
“We do not understand why the UK has taken this position,” he said, adding that it was “a message that creates confusion within our population… creating more reticence, reluctance for people to receive vaccines.”
“This message doesn’t really speak to solidarity and co-operation that we all believe are the cornerstone and ingredients for us to emerge from this pandemic together.”
Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has said the UK strongly supports the work of the Nigerian health authorities and the nation’s vaccination campaign.
British police on Friday said a three-year-old girl was among five people killed in the southwestern city of Plymouth, in the country’s first mass shooting in 11 years.
Shooter Jake Davison, 22, killed the little girl and a 43-year-old man related to her on Thursday night, along with three other people before taking his own life, Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will undertake “only essential government business” in the week ahead after the state health service designated him a close contact of a person infected with Covid, Downing Street said Sunday.
Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak were both designated but are taking part in a government pilot scheme that enables them to continue working, a spokesperson said.
The development came just as Johnson’s government prepares to ditch most pandemic restrictions in England on Monday. The pilot mandates daily testing for participants and outside of work, they must self-isolate.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Saturday he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was now self-isolating for 10 days.
“The prime minister and chancellor have been contacted by NHS (National Health Service) Test and Trace as contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid,” the Downing Street spokesperson said.
“They will be participating in the daily contact testing pilot to allow them to continue to work from Downing Street.
“They will be conducting only essential government business during this period.”
Javid had a “lengthy” meeting with Johnson on Friday, according to the Sunday Times. The prime minister nearly died of Covid last year.
Javid also appeared alongside ministers in parliament last week, and one government source told The Telegraph newspaper: “I don’t see how half the cabinet doesn’t end up in isolation by the end of the week.”
Javid has only been in the job since late June, when former health secretary Matt Hancock resigned following revelations he had broken coronavirus restrictions during an affair with a close aide.
Jonathan Ashworth, the main opposition Labour party’s health spokesman, accused the government of double standards after millions of schoolchildren and workers were forced to stay home under Covid tracing rules.
The pilot’s exemption amounts to “an exclusive rule for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak”, he told Sky News, and the public will see “one rule for them and something else for the rest of us”.
Javid stressed he has received both doses of a Covid vaccine and his symptoms were “very mild”. He said any member of the public feeling symptoms should get a test too.
“If everyone plays their part, you’re not only protecting yourself and your loved ones, but you’re also safeguarding the NHS and helping to preserve our way of life,” the minister said.
However, with coronavirus cases again surging, many scientists say the government is endangering the NHS with its plan on Monday to scrap most legal pandemic requirements in England.
For the first time since January, Britain’s daily Covid caseload now exceeds 50,000, and Javid has warned the figure could double from that in the coming weeks.
But the government insists that with two-thirds of the adult population now fully vaccinated, the risk can be managed, and Monday has been dubbed “freedom day” by many UK media.
Munira Wilson, health spokeswoman for the opposition Liberal Democrats, said Javid’s test result “shows no one is safe from this deadly virus”.
Urging the government “to rethink its reckless plans for Monday”, she said: “By easing all restrictions with cases surging, they are experimenting with people’s lives.”
The surge in infections sweeping Britain led to more than 530,000 people being instructed to self-isolate by a government-run app in the week to July 7, according to latest data.
Some companies such as carmaker Nissan have been losing staff en masse after they were pinged by the app — in a brewing crisis described by UK newspapers as a “pingdemic”.
Staff shortages caused by the isolation rules disrupted the London Underground network on Saturday, with one line suspended entirely.
Novak Djokovic won a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title and sixth Wimbledon on Sunday with a four-set victory over Italian slugger Matteo Berrettini with rival superstar Roger Federer hailing the achievement as a “wonderful performance”.
The world number one triumphed 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to move level on 20 majors with Federer and Rafael Nadal.
His win also put him three-quarters of the way to the first calendar Grand Slam of all four majors since 1969.
“I could definitely envisage that happening and I hope I will give it a shot. I’m in great form and played well and having my best form at Grand Slams is my number one priority,” said Djokovic.
A sixth victory at the All England Club for Djokovic, who was playing in his 30th final at the Slams, added to his nine Australian Opens, two Roland Garros titles as well as three at the US Open.
Should he win a fourth title in New York in September, he will become just the third man in history after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) to complete the calendar Grand Slam.
“It was more than a battle. He is a true Italian hammer I felt it on my skin,” said Djokovic of Berrettini.
Of sharing the record with Federer and Nadal, he said: “It means none of us three will stop. Roger and Rafa are legends, they are the reason I am where I am today.
“They showed me what I needed to do to get stronger, physically, tactically and mentally. Over the last 10 years it has been an incredible journey that’s not stopping here.”
Federer — who bowed out in the quarter-finals while Nadal did not play — tweeted his congratulations.
“Congrats Novak on your 20th major,” said Federer, an eight-time champion at Wimbledon.
“I’m proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done.”
Djokovic also now has 85 career titles while he has become the first man to break the $150 million prize money barrier.
A gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics could give him the first ever Golden Grand Slam by a male player.
“Novak is a great champion, he is writing history on this court,” said Berrettini.
Djokovic overcame a nervy start to break for 3-1, which he stretched to 5-2.
He even had a set point in a marathon eighth game which the Italian saved after eight deuces.
Reinvigorated, he broke Djokovic when he served for the set and then dominated the tiebreaker which he sealed with his fourth ace of the contest.
The top seed stormed to a 5-1 lead in the second set on the back of a double break.
Berrettini, bidding to be Italy’s first men’s Grand Slam winner since Adriano Panatta at the 1976 French Open, clawed his way back to 4-5, saving three set points, but Djokovic this time served it out for a set apiece.
Djokovic struck first again for a 2-1 lead in the third set and fought off three break points in the sixth game, a show of defiance which brought watching Hollywood star Tom Cruise to his feet.
That was Berrettini’s last chance of the set as Djokovic served it out in the 10th game.
A weary Berrettini then served up a double fault on break point to hand Djokovic a 4-3 lead in the fourth set.
Djokovic kept coming, sprinting from the back of the court to pull off a wondrous pick-up and he held on for 5-3.
Berrettini, hoping to be Italy’s first singles champion at Wimbledon, saved two championship points in the eighth game.
But he was powerless on the third as Djokovic swept to his place in history.
“It is not the end, it is the beginning for me,” said Berrettini.
“Without my family, friends, and team all this would not have been possible so I just say Grazie Grazie.”
President Buhari’s scheduled trip to London comes almost three months since he last visited the United Kingdom for the same purpose.
The president had travelled to the UK on March 30 for a routine medical check-up, as indicated in a statement by his media adviser.
He later returned to the country via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on April 15, at the end of the trip which lasted more than two weeks.
Amid speculations that the Nigerian leader may be sick at the time and had to embark on an emergency trip, the presidency stated that there was nothing of such.
“It is a routine medical check-up; the President has undertaken this with a set of doctors that he has retained over many years,” said Garba Shehu, another media aide to the President, during an interview with Channels Television.
US ride-hailing giant Uber announced Wednesday a “historic” pact with a British trade union to represent its 70,000 drivers in the UK, after a court ruling granted them workers’ rights.
The GMB union said the collective bargaining agreement “shows gig economy companies don’t have to be a wild west on the untamed frontier of employment rights”.
“When tech private hire companies and unions work together like this, everyone benefits — bringing dignified, secure employment back to the world of work,” GMB official Mick Rix said in a statement.
“We now call on all other operators to follow suit.”
Uber conferred official recognition on the union — which counts 620,000 members across various industries — in the wake of a ruling by Britain’s Supreme Court in February.
A month later, Uber complied by granting its British drivers worker status with benefits including a minimum wage and paid leave.
It represented a sea change in the business model of a company that had argued before courts in Britain and elsewhere that its drivers are self-employed freelancers, and which has resisted similar reforms in California.
“Whilst Uber and GMB may not seem like obvious allies, we’ve always agreed that drivers must come first, and today we have struck this important deal to improve workers’ protections,” Uber Europe executive Jamie Heywood said.
Noting the company’s prior commitments on UK benefits, he said “this historic agreement means that Uber will be the first in the industry to ensure that its drivers also have full union representation”.
Uber said it would support drivers in Britain if they choose to sign up as GMB members, and union representatives will be given access to company support sites to encourage membership drives.
California ‘scare tactics’
The changes in Britain have come as Uber has faced sliding driver bookings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite strong demand for its Uber Eats food delivery service during national lockdowns.
But despite the higher business costs flowing from the court ruling, Uber says it does not expect the changes to affect its net income this year.
“The future of work is too big of an issue for a one-size-fits-all solution, and that’s OK,” Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in London’s Evening Standard newspaper in March.
Khosrowshahi has previously argued for a “third way” to classify gig workers, rather than as employees or independent contractors.
The British Supreme Court ruling came soon after California’s top court upheld a referendum that let “gig workers” like Uber drivers be treated as freelance contractors.
Proposition 22 — passed in November and heavily backed by Uber, Lyft and other app-based delivery services — effectively overturned a state law requiring them to reclassify their drivers and provide employee benefits.
But US labour groups such as the Services Employees International Union have pressed on with their campaigns. The SEIU has said Uber’s decision to grant worker status to British drivers debunked the “scare tactics” of rideshare companies in California.
In a first for the European Union, Spain’s government in March announced a deal that will recognise riders working for food delivery firms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats as salaried staff following complaints about their working conditions.
In Italy, prosecutors have told Uber Eats and other food delivery platforms their couriers are employees and not independent workers, fining them 733 million euros for breach of labour safety rules.
What a great season. I am grateful to be part of this incredible Team. I am grateful to be part of a wonderful club with special fans. Moments I’ll never forget Thank you @norwichcityfcpic.twitter.com/iQsNNlKkr6
Arsenal came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 for a first north London derby win in three years, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s hat-trick moved Leicester into second in the Premier League with a 5-0 thrashing of managerless Sheffield United on Sunday.
Spurs also lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury on a costly afternoon for their hopes of a top-four finish, but Jose Mourinho’s men did not deserve anything more for an overly conservative approach at the Emirates.
Arsenal’s afternoon did not start well with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped to the bench for a breach of discipline, reportedly after turning up late for the squad’s pre-match meeting.
Mikel Arteta’s men did not miss their skipper as they dominated early on with Emile Smith Rowe’s effort crashing back off the crossbar.
Erik Lamela was introduced to replace Son early on and the Argentine opened the scoring in sensational style as he wrapped his left foot around his right to fire into the bottom corner with a ‘Rabona’ finish.
Cedric Soares hit the post as Arsenal almost hit back immediately and the hosts finally got their reward just before half-time when Martin Odegaard’s shot deflected in off Toby Alderweireld for his first Premier League goal.
Alexandre Lacazette captained the Gunners in Aubameyang’s absence and also took the Gabon international’s duties from the penalty spot after the French striker was brought down by Davinson Sanchez inside the area.
Lacazette sent his international teammate Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot to claim a much-needed win to keep Arsenal’s slim hopes of finishing in the top four alive.
Arteta’s side are now 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, while Spurs remain six points behind the Blues in seventh.
Lamela turned from hero to villain with two unneccessary yellow cards to be given his marching orders 15 minutes from time.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, though, Tottenham’s best spell came with 10 men as Harry Kane had a goal ruled out for offside before the England captain hit the post, and Sanchez’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Gabriel Magalhaes.
Foxes on the hunt
Leicester showed no mercy to bottom-of-the-table United in the visitors’ first match since Chris Wilder’s departure on Saturday.
Wilder, who led United from third-tier League One to the Premier League, left by mutual consent after several days of speculation about his future.
The Blades, managed by interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, look destined for relegation, 14 points from safety with only nine games left.
Nigerian striker Iheanacho opened the floodgates in the 38th minute at the King Power Stadium with a close-range finish from Jamie Vardy’s pass after a flowing move.
Iheanacho’s third goal in his last three games was followed by Ayoze Perez’s fine strike from the edge of the area in the 64th minute.
Vardy was the provider again for Iheanacho’s second before the former Manchester City man completed his treble with a 25-yard blast past Aaron Ramsdale.
Ethan Ampadu’s own goal from Vardy’s effort in the 80th minute sealed the rout for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Manchester United can move back into second when they host Champions League-chasing West Ham later at Old Trafford.
In the battle to beat the drop, Brighton edged three points clear of third-bottom Fulham with a game in hand by winning a frenetic south-coast derby 2-1 over Southampton.
Brighton took the lead through captain Lewis Dunk in the 16th minute.
Southampton drew level in the 27th minute when Dunk could only help Ryan Bertrand’s header into the path of Che Adams, who volleyed home at the far post.
But Brighton went back in front in the 56th minute as Leandro Trossard produced a fine finish from Danny Welbeck’s lay-off.
Manchester United were left frustrated by a VAR penalty controversy in their 0-0 draw at Chelsea, while the revitalised Gareth Bale struck twice in Tottenham’s 4-0 rout of Burnley on Sunday.
Second-placed United had hoped to close the gap on Manchester City with a victory at Stamford Bridge.
But instead they now sit 12 points behind the Premier League leaders as their title hopes fade following a run of one win from four games.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard, but the stalemate was a blow to his team’s top-four challenge.
The fifth-placed Blues are one point behind fourth-placed West Ham and four ahead of sixth-placed Liverpool, who visit Sheffield United in Sunday’s late game.
Neither side could claim they deserved to win in a game of few clear-cut chances.
The biggest talking point came in the first half when United’s appeal for a penalty was rejected by referee Stuart Attwell after he consulted the pitchside monitor when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle in a challenge with Mason Greenwood.
After five defeats in their previous six league games, Tottenham eased the pressure on Jose Mourinho with a significant contribution from Bale, who made just his third league start of the season.
The Wales forward’s most impressive display since his season-long loan move from Real Madrid gave him four goals in his last four appearances.
Bale, who had clashed with Tottenham boss Mourinho over his fitness earlier in February, took just 68 seconds to score with a clinical close-range finish from Son Heung-min’s cross.
In the 15th minute, Bale’s superb long pass picked out Harry Kane’s run and the England captain’s shot deflected off James Tarkowski for his 22nd goal of the season.
Lucas Moura netted with a predatory finish after Sergio Reguilon’s cross was deflected into the Brazilian’s path by Tarkowski in the 31st minute.
Bale, in his second spell with Tottenham after leaving for Madrid in 2013, scored again with a cool strike from Son’s 55th-minute pass.
Tottenham are up to eighth, six points behind the top four with a game in hand.
“Sometimes you (the media) like to say things that are not really true but there is not one single manager in the world that doesn’t play Gareth Bale if Gareth Bale is in very good condition,” Mourinho said.
“There is not one, but now he is better than ever. It’s not just about the two goals he scored, it’s fundamentally about his physical performance.”
Arsenal down Leicester
Arsenal delivered a hammer blow to Leicester’s faint hopes of winning the title with an impressive 3-1 win.
Mikel Arteta’s side fell behind to Youri Tielemans’ early goal at the King Power Stadium, but David Luiz equalised and Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty gave Arsenal the lead.
Nicolas Pepe’s second-half goal sealed the Gunners’ second win in their last six league games and their first success at a team in the Premier League’s top three since 2015.
Leicester remain in third place and trail City by 13 points with 12 games remaining.
After Thursday’s shock Europa League exit against Slavia Prague, it was a week to forget for Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.
With Arsenal stuck in mid-table, Arteta has prioritised winning the Europa League as his side’s only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Having picked his best team for the come-from-behind win against Benfica in the last 32 second leg on Thursday, Arteta left Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka on the bench after the long trip back from the neutral venue in Greece.
After the gamble paid off, Arteta said: “Coming into this game I was concerned. They’re one of the most dangerous teams in the league to play once you go behind against them.
“The reaction was terrific, the team looked really mature.”
Third-bottom Fulham are three points from safety after a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.