United Kingdom-based intending couple, Emmanuel and Urenna Okonkwo, have lamented how the travel ban slammed on Nigeria by the British authorities over the spread of the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 will disrupt their wedding plans.
It was learnt that the intending couple arrived in Nigeria to tie nuptial knots on December 29 but after inviting over 600 people, they were now doubtful if the wedding would go ahead.
According to them, they have already spent £15,000 (N8,700,000) but are now anxious that their family and friends in the UK might not grace the wedding, due to costs that are involved after the UK placed Nigeria on red list.
MyLondon reports that with Nigeria placed on the UK’s red list, whoever leaves England to celebrate with them faces a £2,285 (N1,325,300) per person hotel quarantine bill.
The couple based in Blackheath, South-East London, were hoping to be joined by friends and family, but said they have not been able to sleep due to worries.
After picking December for the traditional wedding because their family would already be flying back home to spend Christmas with their loved ones, they thought it was the ideal time.
Miss Okonkwo said, “We booked hotel rooms for guests, money we can’t get back if this doesn’t go ahead, it’s a nightmare.
“The past few days have been very stressful, finding out alternative solutions, I’ve barely slept since Saturday evening, I don’t want to dwell too much on the problems, right now we are thinking of solutions.
“I have a very big family so quarantine would be an extra £20,000.”
The wedding plans will be a waiting game with the red list reviewed every three weeks, meaning they will not know more until December 20.
Alongside this, the couple will also be spending £25,000 (N14,500,000) on their English wedding next summer.
They disclosed they have been left with no choice but to look for alternative plans.
“We don’t know how rules will change so we are looking at going somewhere else after Nigeria, rather than coming directly back to UK,” the bride-to-be added.
“We are exploring different options, because no one can pay that £2,000 unless you’re a millionaire, then you add up Covid tests – my whole family won’t be able to do that.
“Also, some of my immediate family work in healthcare so they cannot take time off work to quarantine or go somewhere else, they have January exams, they can’t even have the extra ten days – they wouldn’t be able to go there at all if it stays on red list.”
Recall that the UK added Nigeria to its travel ‘red list’ over the weekend, meaning arrivals from there will be banned except for British and Irish residents.
The Nigerian government on Monday criticised a travel ban imposed on the country by the British government amid fears about the new Omicron coronavirus variant as “punitive, indefensible and discriminatory.”
The British travel ban is “not driven by science” and is “unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible and discriminatory,” Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said.