Coronavirus: UK adds India to travel ban list

The UK on Friday added India to its travel “red list.”

India is struggling with a massive surge in COVID-19 cases while the UK eases coronavirus restrictions thanks to its successful vaccine rollout.

Indonesian authorities on Friday said the country will stop stop issuing visas for foreigners who have been in India in the past 14 days, citing fears over the spread of coronavirus variants, according to Reuters news agency.

On Thursday, Canada also announced a ban on all flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days.

Millions of UK and Canada’s citizens and residents are of Indian descent.

What does ‘red list’ mean?

The UK’s “red list” includes 40 countries, mainly from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America.

Travelers who have been in any of the countries on the list during the last 10 days are not allowed to enter the UK.

The only exceptions are UK nationals and residents. They are required to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel. 

People who arrived in the UK from India before Friday must self-isolate for 10 days and take a coronavirus test on the second and 8th day of their isolation.

Some professionals are exempt from the list, including engineers, medical staff and journalists. However, the self-isolation requirement still applies.

What is the situation in India?

India reported on Friday the world’s highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases for the second day with over 330,000 new infections, according to the Health Ministry.

The Indian government has blamed a new coronavirus variant for the spike.

India’s healthcare system has struggled to contain the devastating wave of infections.

Hospitals are reporting lack of oxygen and supplies as they run out of beds.

Accidents have also plagued health facilities. A fire broke out in a hospital on Friday and killed 13 COVID patients.

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