British members of Parliament on Thursday lambasted their government for not removing Pakistan from the red list.
The UK has a traffic light system for international travel, with low-risk countries being quarantined for quarantine-free travel, medium-risk countries being given amber status and red-listed countries being quarantined in a 10-day hotel. Pakistan was placed on the red list in early April followed by India on April 19 after a growing number of cases and various Delta cases came to light.
According to an update of the travel lists issued by the British government, India, along with Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, will be moved to the amber list from August 8 (Sunday).
British MP Naaz Shah in a statement issued on her twitter handle said she was surprised by the move, adding that this is not the first time that the British government has shown such callous behaviour when dealing with the quarantine traffic light system.
She said, “India s seven-day infection rate is 20 per 100,000 people and is now on the amber list but Pakistan, whose seven-day infection rate is just 14 per 100,000 people – well below the vast majority of amber list destinations, remains on the red list.”
Shah said, “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. That led to the Delta Variant becoming the most prominent Covid variant in the UK.”
“Whilst families have been forced away from loved ones for months, it is unacceptable for decisions to be made in such ways. I will be raising this issue further,” the British MP added.https://platform.
Bolton South East MP Yasmeen Qureshi also pointed out that Pakistan is on the red list despite no concerns.
“I asked the government and tried to resolve the issue, but to no avail,” she said and added the government wants to punish Pakistan for its potential economic benefits, which is a clear 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,” she added.
Qureshi said she will be writing a letter to the UK Minister for Transport Grants on the matter.
Luton North Labor MP Sarah Owen also said it was difficult to understand the reasons behind the latest changes 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 list.
She tweeted that decisions made in isolation without scrutiny are never good for the people we want to represent, and that these decisions have great health (and) personal consequences.
“Many people don’t want to holiday, it’s to see family they’ve not seen for over a year or say goodbye to loved ones,” she added.