India added to UK’s COVID ‘red list’ for travel

2021-04-20 at 06:19

India has been added to a “red list” of countries from which most travel to the UK is banned, over fears of a new Covid variant.

From Friday 23 April, most people who have travelled from India in the last 10 days will be refused entry.

British or Irish passport holders, or people with UK residence rights, will be allowed in but must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

British health secretary Matt Hancock said there had been 103 UK cases of the India variant.

In a statement to the House of Commons, the health secretary said the vast majority of the cases of the new variant – officially known as B.1.617 – had been linked to international travel.

He said test samples had been analysed to see if the new variant had any “concerning characteristics” such as greater transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.

Health officials say this new variant, first identified in India, has some worrying genetic changes that need exploring.