Heathrow and Gatwick airport: More than 100 flights from India have landed in UK since country was placed on red list
Flights are still allowed to touch down in the UK from India despite the country being on the travel red list
ByBlathnaid CorlessTrainee reporter
- 08:07, 19 MAY 2021
- UPDATED12:00, 19 MAY 2021
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Over 100 flights have landed in the UK from India since the country was placed on the red list on April 23.
Analysis by LBC found that 110 flights had landed in the UK in the three and a half weeks since India was placed on the travel red list – a measure that was not accompanied with a ban on direct flights.
India was placed on the red list after the emergence of a variant which is more transmissible than the Kent variant, and has begun to spread in 86 council areas across the country.
Meanwhile three flights potentially packed with passengers from Delhi and Mumbai touched down in Heathrow airport on Tuesday (May 18), the Mirror reported.
The news comes as foreign travel was finally allowed to restart on Monday, May 17 in the next phase of the government’s lockdown easing roadmap.
Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights in the UK – including long-term visa holders – are allowed into England having travelled from or transited through India.
Despite the government’s travel rules including a ban on direct flights from red-listed countries, this does not apply to India which has been allowed to continue flights to the UK.
Air India has also announced additional indirect flights from London’s Heathrow airport to several Indian cities including Mumbai and Bengaluru, showing the continuing demand for flights to and from the country despite its red list status.
The government has defended its decision to continue direct flights between the UK and India.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “There are a small number of reasons why people may need to travel to India still, even when it is on the red list.
“We wouldn’t expect any substantial numbers to be travelling.”
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