London [UK], April 19 (ANI): The United Kingdom is adding India to its travel "red list" on a precautionary basis after reporting 103 cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India, health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday.
Speaking at the parliament, Hancock said that the UK has put in place the new variant assessment platform allowing any country in the world to use our genomic sequencing capability if they want to sequence positive cases in order to discover what is happening in their countries."
"We have recently seen a new variant first identified in India. We have now detected 103 cases of this variant," Hancock said.
"On a precautionary basis, we have made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the Red List. This means anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident or a British citizen cannot enter the UK if they've been in India in the previous 10 days," the health secretary added.
Hancock also said that UK and Irish residents and British citizens who have been in India in the past 10 days before their arrival will need to complete hotel quarantine for 10 days from the time of arrival.
The rules come into force at 4 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Friday, Hancock said.
The British High Commission in India said that the decision is to help prevent the spread of variants of concern and protect the most vulnerable.
" If you are a British or Irish National in India, or an Indian national with residency rights in the UK, you will now be required to undergo 10 full days managed hotel quarantine on arrival in England at your expense," it added.
The Russian Embassy's visa section temporarily cease its operations until further notice due to India's COVID-19 situation, it announced on Monday. (ANI)