Covid: India added to UK’s ‘red list’ as coronavirus cases surge amid variant concerns

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that 103 cases of the Indian variant have been identified in the UK so far

India has been added to the UK’s coronavirus “red list” as the country’s Covid infection rate surges amid the emergence of a new variant.

Anyone who is a British or Irish National, or who has residence rights in the UK will be able to enter, but they must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days.

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However, anyone who is not a British or Irish National, or who does not have residence rights in the UK, will be banned from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days.

India has been added to the UK’s coronavirus “red list” as the country’s Covid infection rate surges amid the emergence of a new variant Noah Seelam/AFP via Getty Images)

This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancels his trip to India, due to the surge in the country’s cases of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister was due to travel to India next week, but Mr Johnson and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, both agreed to the cancellation of the trip, as New Delhi entered a week-long lockdown.

India reported 273,810 new infections on Monday (19 April), which is the country’s highest daily rise since the pandemic began.

The Prime Minister said: “I do think it’s only sensible to postpone, given what’s happened in India, the shape of the pandemic there.”

‘We’ve made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that 103 cases of the Indian variant have been identified in the UK so far.

Mr Hancock told MPs: “We’ve recently seen a new variant first identified in India. We’ve now detected 103 cases of this variant, of which again the vast majority have links to international travel and have been picked up by our testing at the border.”

The Health Secretary also said the samples have been analysed in order to see if the new variant has any “concerning characteristics”, such as greater transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.

“After studying the data, and on a precautionary basis, we’ve made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list,” Mr Hancock said.

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