UK MPs castigate govt for keeping Pakistan on 'red list', moving India to amber



British parliamentarians criticised their government's "callous" move to keep Pakistan on its travel "red list" while moving India to the "amber list", despite the Covid situation in the latter being more serious following the Delta variant's emergence in the country.

The United Kingdom maintains a traffic system regarding the international travel, rating low-risk nations as green, medium-risk in the amber and others in the red list.

The red list requires the travellers to remain in isolation for 10 days prior to keeping in view the situation.

The UK placed Pakistan on the red list in April while India was put on the list on April 19 following the Delta's variant's emergence.

However, in an updated list, the British government announced that India, Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE will be moved to the amber list from Sunday (August 8).

The move didn't go down well with UK parliamentarians, with Bradford MP Naz Shah expressing her "surprise".

According to her, it wasn't the first time that the UK had demonstrated a "callous behaviour" while managing the air traffic system.

Shah went on to question why Pakistan was kept on the red list as its seven-day infection ratio was 14 per 100,00 people.

On the other hand, India had 20 infections per 100,000, she pointed out, terming it "well below the vast majority of amber list destinations".

The parliamentarian noted that, "The last time this government favoured political choices rather than science and risked our nation's Covid efforts, it failed to place India on the red list."

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Shah added, "That led to the Delta variant becoming the most prominent Covid variant in the UK."

My Statement: Pakistan remains on Red List whilst India moves to Amber pic.twitter.com/PLV898tCeo
— Naz Shah MP 💙 (@NazShahBfd) August 4, 2021

 

Bolton MP Yasmin Qureshi, also expressed concern at Pakistan's presence on the list despite it "not having any variants of concern".

"The government is seeking to penalise Pakistan in favour of potential economic benefit," she said and added that, "This is clear and blatant discrimination towards Pakistan."

"To add insult to injury, the hotel quarantine cost is set to increase by between £450-£800, to a total of £2,200," Qureshi tweeted.

The Government is seeking to penalise Pakistan in favour of potential economic benefit

This is clear and blatant discrimination towards Pakistan.

To add insult to injury, the hotel quarantine cost is set to increase by between £450-£800, to a total of £2.2k
— Yasmin Qureshi MP (@YasminQureshiMP) August 4, 2021

 

Labour MP Sawah Owen also expressed a similar opinion, saying she could not comprehend the latest changes.

"When you see figures like this, Tory ministers have a lot of explaining to do as to why India is going amber yet Pakistan and other countries remain red," she remarked.

"Decisions taken in isolation with no scrutiny are never good for the people we seek to represent. These decisions have big health [and] personal consequences," Owen maintained.

It’s tough to see the reasoning behind latest changes to travel lists, even when vaccination rates are taken into account.

When you see figures likes this, Tory Ministers have a lot of explaining to do as to why India is going amber yet Pakistan & other countries remain red.1/2 pic.twitter.com/Fs0LkKSCrI
— Sarah Owen MP (@SarahOwen_) August 4, 2021

 

On April 2, the British government announced Pakistan has been added to the country's 'red list' of travel restrictions due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

“Red listing means that only UK, Irish nationals and those with residency rights in the UK will be allowed to travel to the UK if they have been in Pakistan in the 10 days before they arrive," British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner said in a video message.

He added that the travellers would have to pay to stay in mandatory hotel quarantine for 10 days after arrival in the UK.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)