Health & Medical

India added to UK’s coronavirus ‘red list’

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media captionMatt Hancock says putting India on the “red list” for travel was a “difficult but vital decision”.

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, the health secretary has said.

From 04:00 BST on Friday, 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.

Matt Hancock said there have been 103 UK cases of the India variant.

In a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, Mr Hancock said the vast majority of the cases of the new variant had been linked to international travel

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled a planned trip to India, which had been due to take place on 26 April, amid rising cases there.

Health officials in the UK are investigating whether a variant first found in India spreads more easily or is resistant to treatments or vaccines.

It comes as the UK recorded four deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, according to the latest government figures.

It is the lowest daily figure since 7 September, although the number of deaths recorded on Mondays and over the weekend tend to be lower because of reporting delays.

The data also showed there were also 2,963 new infections. Meanwhile, more than 10m people in the UK received a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and nearly 33 million people have had their first dose.

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