'For now we are okay' with India not on 'red list', minister tells LBC

18 April 2021, 12:13 | Updated: 18 April 2021, 19:31

Environment Sec. believes India doesn't need to be put on red list

By Maddie Goodfellow

Environment Minister George Eustice has told LBC "for now we are okay" with India not on the 'red travel list' despite a 'doubly-mutated' coronavirus variant first identified there being found in the UK.

Whilst speaking to LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday show, Environment Minister George Eustice was questioned over why India is not yet on the UK's red list of countries to travel to.

The minister explained: "These things are kept under regular review, and there are around 30 countries currently on the list.

"I know that Grant Shapps and the other members of the Covid sub-committee that look at this will review it.

"And if we get scientific advice that India should be on the red list then we will not hesitate to do that. But at the moment, we haven't had such a recommendation."

He continued: "Obviously, we take a highly precautionary approach on all travel, so we ban people from travelling for the purposes of a holiday, and everyone arriving must have a pre-departure Covid test 72 hours before arriving and then must quarantine at home for ten days and have two tests within that time.

"I think for now we are okay, but should the advice change we will change."

Refusal to add India to red list is 'economic' hints virologist

This comes after the first cases of a 'doubly-mutated' Covid-19 variant were discovered in the UK.

Public Health England's figures come from the latest update of PHE's surveillance of the distribution of different variants across the UK, based on data up to April 7.

Officials have designated it a variant under investigation and some scientists have said it is a cause for concern as it could be "less controlled by vaccines."

The variant carries two different mutations, E484Q and L452R.At the moment a host of countries are currently on the hotel quarantine list where a mandatory 10-day isolation is required.

With the quarantine hotel programme having officially started in England, a new set of rules for travel have been confirmed including harsh fines and possible prison time for anyone who tries to avoid hotel quarantine.

Other new quarantine rules include two Covid-19 tests after people travel.

India must be put on the red list ASAP, WHO adviser insists

However, Virologist Professor Stuart Neil told LBC that India should be on the red list and it is likely for "economic reasons" that it is not.

"There are certain variants that we need to keep a close eye on to stop them coming in such that we don't necessarily need to go to extreme lengths.

"The most important thing is to stop them getting in in the first place.

Asked whether he thinks India should be on the red list, the Professor responded "yes". Tom then questioned him over why he believes it has not yet been added.

"I imagine it is an economic argument, we have a huge economic link with India and we need to create even bigger links because of Brexit.

"So my speculation would be it is the government trying to balance those two opposing issues."

PM 'has got to' put India on red list to protect UK

Labour's shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Conservative ministers would have to accept the blame after a coronavirus variant first identified in India was found in the UK.

Public Health England reported that 73 cases of a variant named B.1.617, originally detected in India, have been confirmed in England as well as four cases in Scotland.

Thomas-Symonds said: "The Conservatives are putting the progress of the vaccine rollout at risk with their reckless refusal to secure our borders against Covid.

"Ministers have been warned time and again that failing to introduce a comprehensive hotel quarantine policy would leave us exposed to variants of Covid.

"The blame for these dangerous new variants reaching this country rests squarely with the UK Government, and lives are being put at risk."We need a proper hotel quarantine system in place urgently."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".

Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

The Reform UK leader's comments came as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Kent on Tuesday, slamming the current government's ability to control immigration.

Farage warns of Channel migrant 'invasion' from countries 'with terrorism, gang culture and war zones'

Gavin Plumb is accused of plotting to kidnap Holly Willoughby

Obsessed security guard ‘plotted to keep Holly Willoughby in dungeon where screams couldn't be heard for miles'

At least two people have died in the fire

At least two dead as Moscow defence research centre bursts into flames ‘with staff trapped inside’

Parisians along River Seine, below Cathedral Notre Dame celebrate Fête de la Musique - annual city-wide music festival each June

British woman 'gang-raped in Paris at music festival'

Florida rapper Julio Foolio has been shot dead

Florida rapper Julio Foolio shot dead during his birthday in Florida

Meg Bellamy played Kate Middleton in The Crown

The Crown star Meg Bellamy reveals trolls branded her 'too fat' to play Kate in the show

Jay Slater's father has urged people to come forward if they have any information on his son's disappearance

'Someone must know something': Jay Slater's father speaks out as search for missing son stretches into second week

Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will

Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will

Princess Diana's family home in Mayfair has gone on sale for the first time in decades

'A trophy home with royal connections': Mayfair townhouse where Diana met Dodi on sale for £11m

A shopping centre security guard from Essex, spent almost two years plotting to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby.

'Obsessed' security guard spent almost two years 'plotting to kidnap, rape and murder' Holly Willoughby

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

Princess Anne rushed to hospital with concussion after being kicked in the head by horse on country estate

Rishi Sunak has said he is not aware of any other candidates being investigated in the Conservative gambling scandal

Sunak says he's not being investigated in Tory betting scandal and is 'unaware of other candidates being looked at'

Lucy Letby tells retrial she never intended to harm babies in her care

Lucy Letby tells her retrial she never tried to harm any babies in her care

Frederick Allard has been jailed

Predator landlord jailed after demanding sexual favours from women in exchange for reduced rent

Jay Slater's family have shared an image of what is believed to be the last sighting of him

Spanish police issue update on missing Jay Slater after family share CCTV of mystery figure believed to be teen