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15th May 2021

Boris Johnson was ‘reckless’ in delaying India travel ban

Danny Jones

Boris criticised over Indian strain and travel ban

Labour’s Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, branded Boris Johnson and the government’s approach as “reckless, misguided and dangerous”

Following the update on the B.1.617.2 Indian variant – of which there have been more than 1,000 cases and resulting in four deaths in the UK over the past week – the opposition has criticised the Prime Minister’s handling of the situation.

Despite India being having been crippled by the Covid-19 strain for months now, the country was only added to Britain’s red list of countries deemed unsafe for foreign travel on April 23rd. As such, Labour‘s Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, came out on Twitter to hold him accountable for the lack of urgency and foresight.

While travel from close-by Pakistan was banned from April 9, between April 12th and the 26th, as many as 8,000 people flew back from India, with new data suggesting that at least 122 people have brought the Indian variant into Britain from New Dehli and Mumbai alone since March.

While the PM has now urged caution and warned that a spike in new variant cases could complicate phase four of easing lockdown restrictions – the possible outcome being that the June 21st date is pushed back – many are labelling it too little too late.

Lib Dem MP and chair of the parliamentary group on coronavirus, Layla Moran, also stated that “Boris Johnson must take responsibility for the failure to prevent the Indian variant taking root in the UK”, adding that “once again the Government acted too late, and the country is sadly paying the price”.