Boris Johnson is facing demands to explain whether he delayed the addition of India to the government’s travel “red list” in April because he was hoping his high-profile visit to the country could go ahead.
Travellers from India have been blamed for bringing the highly infectious B1.617.2 strain of Covid-19 to the UK, sparking the current surge in cases in towns such as Bolton, Blackburn and Bedford.
India was placed on the red list – requiring arrivals to quarantine in airport hotels – on 19 April. But the control did not come into effect until 23 April, triggering a rush by thousands of passengers to get in before the deadline. And questions were asked today about why the country did not join the list announced on 2 April along with neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh, where infection rates were lower.
On 2 April, recorded infections in India were running at about 90,000 a day – or one in every 15,000 of the population – compared to 4,700 in Pakistan (about one in…