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Asad Umar raises question over UK’s policy after Pakistan added to ‘travel red list’

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar has raised questions over United Kingdom (UK)’s policy after it put Pakistan on travel red list.



Asad Umar raises question over UK’s policy after Pakistan added to ‘travel red list’
Asad Umar raises question over UK’s policy after Pakistan added to ‘travel red list’

Taking to twitter, the federal minister wrote that while every country has a right to take decisions to safeguard the health of their citizens, the recent decision by UK government to add some countries including Pakistan on the red list raises a legitimate question whether choice of countries is based on science or foreign policy.

Asad Umar had shared a letter of British Member of Parliament Naz Shah who had objected to Pakistan being put on ‘red list’ saying that number of daily-cases in France, India and Germany are far more than Pakistan.

Earlier yesterday, UK in a latest move to curb COVID-19 spread has restricted the passengers’ inflow from Pakistan, Philippines, Kenya and Bangladesh.

According to UK Transport Department (DFT), British and Irish residents arriving from the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh will be required to self-isolate in a government-approved ‘hotel quarantine’ facility for 10 days starting from April 9, 4am and would must take a COVID-19 test on day two and day eight of their self-isolation.

The latest update means that passengers arriving from or who have transited through these countries will be banned from entering unless they are a British or Irish national or are a resident in the UK.

The passengers will not be allowed to shorten their quarantine period regardless of their test results, and will also not be able to end it early through the Test to Release scheme.

According to DFT, the measures are aimed at reducing the risk posed by new coronavirus variants – such as the South Africa strain and are based on advice from the Government-funded Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The data showed the majority of cases of the South Africa variant detected in England so far were linked to international travel and that very few are thought to have come from Europe, the department added.

The DFT said: “The Government has made it consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus and has added these destinations to the red list to protect public health.”

On Monday (April 5), UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to give “a bit” more detail on how international travel will resume.

There will be 40 countries on the ‘red list’ once the four countries join on April 09.

It is expected that the UK government will also launch a ‘traffic light’ system to determine restrictions on individual countries and regions.