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India added to travel red list as cases of new variant rise

Written by: Emma Lunn
India has been added to England’s red list to protect the country against a new variant of coronavirus and against other existing variants.

From 4am on Friday 23 April, only British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights (including long-term visa holders) will be allowed to travel from India to England. They will be required to arrive into a designated port and then  self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days.

All other travellers who have departed from or transited through India in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

The situation in India has deteriorated with an extremely rapid rise in cases detected throughout April, which is accelerating. Over the past week, local rates have almost doubled, increasing to 111 cases detected per 100,000 per week – higher than any other point in the outbreak.

Despite the current travel measures, there is a high volume of travel between India and the UK, and we have already seen 103 cases of the variant under investigation (VUI) in the UK.

Travellers from India who go into hotel quarantine will be required to take a coronavirus test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8. They will not be allowed to shorten their quarantine period on receipt of a negative test result or through the Test to Release scheme.

Decisions on travel restrictions are taken by ministers and are informed by evidence including Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) analysis as well as other wider public health considerations.

The government says British nationals currently in the countries on the red list should make use of the commercial options available if they wish to return to England. Commercial routes that will enable British and Irish nationals and residents to return to England continue to operate.

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