India will be placed on England’s Covid red list from 4am on Friday, the health secretary has confirmed.
Matt Hancock told parliament there had been 103 cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant detected in the UK.
“The vast majority have links to international travel and have been picked up by testing at the border,” he said.
From Friday, only UK and Irish citizens and those with residency rights travelling from India can enter England and will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel at their own expense.
“I understand the impact of this decision, but we must protect the progress we have made in this country,” Hancock said.
Boris Johnson has cancelled a planned trip to India because of the outbreak.
Hancock also said there had been 557 cases of the South African variant since December, with a cluster of cases in south London. “Two-thirds are related to international travel and were picked up by day two and day eight testing,” he said.
Parliament was also told the number of people in the UK who had had their second jab had reached 10 million. The average number of daily Covid deaths was now 25, down 98% from the peak, he said.