More than 100 direct flights have landed in the UK from Indian in the three and a half weeks since the country was placed on the UK’s “red list” due to concerns over the Covid variant.
Direct flights from India have continued to land in the UK at a rate of 4.5 per day, despite fears surrounding the Indian variant, reports LBC.
‘UK government mistakes have risked letting variants in’
In the 14 days between 22 April and 5 May, 4,258 travellers arriving from India undertook Covid tests, according to data from NHS Test and Trace.
This is higher than the number arriving from any other country across the globe, except Pakistan.
Data found that of those arriving from India during the 14 day period, 299 tested positive for Covid-19.
LBC said that if this trend continued for the most recent fortnight, then almost 8,500 passengers would be expected to have arrived from India since the country was placed on the “red list”, with around 600 of them likely to have been infected with Covid.
Alongside the 110 flights that arrived after India was placed on the “red list”, a further 16 flights landed in the UK between the announcement of the decision on 19 April and the change coming into force.
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, told LBC: “The mess over the banned flights and the red list is yet more evidence of the utter mess that the Conservatives have made of protecting our borders against Covid, while the scenes of people from red list countries having to mix at airports is deeply worrying.
He added: “UK government mistakes have risked letting variants in, putting our hope for freedoms at risk.”
However, a Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We have adapted and bolstered our world leading test and quarantine systems for incoming passengers since the start of the pandemic, and will continue to closely monitor direct flights from a small number of red list countries to see if a blanket ban would be necessary and proportionate.
“Public safety always comes first, however we need to also consider other factors, such as critical freight and helping British nationals return home safely.”