Boris Johnson urged to say if he delayed travel controls on India because of planned trade trip
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Boris Johnson urged to say if he delayed travel controls on India because of planned trade trip

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…

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