there are now 40 countries on the red list.
India is the latest country to be added to the UK’s ‘red list’ of travel ban countries.
The announcement comes amid a surge in cases across India and fears of a new Indian Covid-19 variant.
From Friday, April 23, 2021, people travelling from India in the last ten days will be refused entry unless they have a British or Irish passport.
People with UK residence rights will be allowed in but must spend ten days in quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
According to UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, there have been 103 cases of the Indian variant found in the UK.
In a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, April 19, 2021, Hancock said the number of cases is linked to international travel.
Therefore, putting India on the UK’s red list is a “difficult but vital decision”.
Hancock told MPs:
“After studying the data and on a precautionary basis, we’ve made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list.”
He also said that the government is “ramping up” plans for a booster shot, to ensure that the vaccine rollout in the UK stays “ahead of the virus”.
Matt Hancock’s announcement in the House of Commons comes shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his trip to India.
He had been due to visit on Monday, April 26, 2021.
However, he made the decision to cancel amid the rising number of cases in India.
Since Thursday, April 15, 2021, India has reported more than 200,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day.
The surge in positive cases has resulted in lockdowns in various states across the country.
Delhi recently announced a week-long lockdown, due to their healthcare system being overwhelmed by the spike.
Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that they had almost run out of beds at hospital intensive care units (ICUs).
He also said that oxygen was in short supply.
In a virtual press conference on Monday, April 19, 2021, Kejriwal said:
“I have always been against lockdowns, but this one will help us amplify the number of hospital beds in Delhi.”
The UK, however, recorded just four deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to the latest government figures.
The UK government’s announcement means that there are now 40 countries on the red list.
The Asian countries on the UK’s red list of travel ban countries alongside India are Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines.