Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Saturday said that he has asked the United Kingdom to review its travel ban on visitors from India, PTI reported.
In April, Britain added India to its travel “red-list” amid concerns about the Delta variant of the coronavirus. This effectively bans visitors from travelling to the United Kingdom. British citizens returning to the country are required to undergo a compulsory 10-day hotel quarantine on arrival.
“I briefed them [UK officials] on the Covid-19 situation in India,” the foreign secretary said during his visit to London. “I pointed out that France had cleared visitors from India without quarantine, if they are double vaccinated and have a negative test. The United States has upgraded India in the travel scheme, encouraged the UK to do the same and they took note of it.”
Shringla said that the Indian government was “constantly vigilant” and taking precautions to avoid a third wave of the pandemic. “Mumbai, Delhi, big cities are practically free of Covid,” he added.
A devastating rise in infections in April and May, driven largely by the Delta variant, overwhelmed India’s healthcare system. The daily number of cases had even crossed the 4-lakh mark a few times in May.
But on Saturday, no deaths due to Covid-19 were reported in Delhi. With 66 new infections, the tally since the start of the pandemic in January 2020 rose to 14,35,844. The positivity rate, which is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested, dropped to 0.09% from a peak of 10% in April.
Mumbai’s tally, meanwhile, rose to 7,33,757 with 413 new coronavirus cases. The city’s recovery rate improved to 97% and the case doubling time stood at 1,241 days, according to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s data.