The United Kingdom added India to its Covid-19 travel ‘red list’ on Monday. This means that only British or Irish passport holders, or people with UK residence rights ( students with CAS letter and Tier-4 visa), can enter the UK if they have been to India in the previous 10 days. On arrival, they will have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.
Will flights be available from India to the UK?
At present, there are around 30 flights from various Indian cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad to the UK, largely London Heathrow Airport, every day. These flights are operated by British Airways, Vistara, and Air India.
The new travel rule applies to England and Scotland. There are currently no direct international flights into Wales or Northern Ireland.
Why is India included in the ‘red list’?
In a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, the health secretary, Hancock said the vast majority of the cases of the new variant – officially known as B.1.617 – had been linked to international travel.
Hancock said test samples had been analysed to see if the new variant had any “concerning characteristics” such as greater transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.
How much does hotel quarantine cost?
For a solo traveller, the cost of the required hotel quarantine is £1,750. For two or more people, some cost reductions apply. This amount covers the cost of two mandatory RT-PCR tests on the second and eighth day of quarantine.
While the government has said that the hotel quarantine is for 10 days, it is actually for 11 nights and includes 12 days. This involves the day of arrival, ten full days at the hotel and the day of release.