The MP says the Covid inquiry should examine the UK’s delay in adding India to the “red list”
A public inquiry should examine whether Boris Johnson’s decision to postpone adding India for the “red list” of country trips he was influenced by his desire to start trade negotiations with Delhi, said the chairman of a Covid inter-party inquiry group.
It happened when Downing Street and health secretary Matt Hancock denied that the policy was involved in the decision to wait 17 days before putting India on the list of countries requiring mandatory hotel quarantine after Bangladesh and Pakistan was added despite having significantly lower Covid case rates.
Johnson was scheduled to visit India on his first big trip as prime minister between 25 and 28 April, which had already been rescheduled for the end of January, when the UK’s own infection rate was soaring.
Downing Street made a point of making a political statement that India should be the first nation to be visited by Boris Johnson, as a way to broker a new post-Brexit trade relationship.
Concern has increased with the increase in cases of variant B.1.617.2 detected for the first time in India, particularly in the northwest and parts of London, which could affect the future easing of blocking restrictions. The variant has three mutations detected.
A hidden pandemic market that advertises fake vaccines and test certificates for just £ 25 has grown exponentially, with more than 1,200 suppliers in the UK and around the world, the researchers found.
After UK ministers announced the return of holidays abroad – with travelers required to provide evidence of negative tests, and vaccine passports on the horizon – the Guardian has also learned that antivaxxers and people coming to Britain from poorer countries make up a significant number of people who buy forged pandemic paraphernalia.
Last month, parliamentarians were told that more than 100 people per day are trying to enter the UK using fake Covid test certificates, while individuals try to circumvent current entry requirements, which include tests before and after the trip and can cost hundreds of pounds per person.