India has been added to England’s red list as the government seeks to protect the country against a new variant of Covid-19.
The decision means, from 04:00 on Friday, international visitors who have departed from or transited through India in the previous ten days will be refused entry into England.
Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights in the UK (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter.
However, they will be required to stay in a government-approved quarantine facility for ten days.
They will also be required to arrive into a designated port.
Direct flights from India will continue to be permitted, but passengers are advised to check their travel plans before departing for England.
According to officials, the Covid-19 situation in India has deteriorated with an extremely rapid rise in cases detected throughout April, which is accelerating.
Over the past few days, 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.
During any managed quarantine stay, passengers will be required to take a coronavirus test on or before day two and on or after day eight, and they will not be allowed to shorten their quarantine period on receipt of a negative test result or through the Test to Release scheme.
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.