The U.K. government has announced that it will add India to its COVID-19 “red list.” Most foreign nationals traveling from India will be barred entry to the U.K. beginning this Friday, April 23.

Key Points:

  • The entry ban will take effect at 4 a.m. on Friday and will apply to anyone who has been in India in the previous 10 days. India joins 39 countries currently on the U.K.’s “red list.”
  • U.K. nationals, Irish nationals and third-country nationals with residence rights (for instance Skilled Worker visa holders) are exempt from the ban. Other exemptions may be available for individuals traveling to the U.K. to undertake work in certain essential jobs. More information is available here.
  • Anyone who is eligible to enter the U.K. from India will be required to complete a 10-day hotel quarantine, which must be booked in advance of traveling to the U.K. Travelers from “red countries” are not eligible for the Test to Release scheme, meaning they must complete the full 10-day hotel quarantine regardless of any negative COVID-19 tests.

Analysis & Comments: The new requirement is essential to note for travelers from India or those who have been in India in the last 10 days. Eligible travelers will need to factor in additional costs of the mandatory hotel stay. Travelers to the U.K. are also reminded that the existing requirements remain in place for COVID-19 testing 72 hours before travel and on day two and day eight after arrival. Employers who intend to send employees to the U.K. may wish to consult with BAL about their travel plans.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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