India has been added to the “Red List” for travel to the UK due to growing concerns about a new variant of Cpovid-19 coronavirus.
In the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs, “We recently saw a new variant that was first identified in India. We have now discovered 103 cases of this variant, the vast majority of which have connections to international travel and were picked up by our tests at the border. “
Mr Hancock said the samples had been analyzed to see if the new variant had “relevant characteristics” such as better transferability or resistance to treatments and vaccines.
He added: “After studying the data and as a precautionary measure, we have made the difficult but important decision to put India on the Red List.
“This means that anyone who is not a resident of the UK or Ireland or is a UK citizen cannot enter the UK if they have been in India in the last 10 days.
“UK and Irish residents and UK nationals who have been to India in the 10 days prior to their arrival are required to stay in hotel quarantine for 10 days from the time of arrival.
“These rules will come into effect on Friday at 4am.
“India is a country that I know well and love. There are friendly and family relationships between our two countries. I understand the implications of this decision, but I hope the House will agree that we need to act. “