Travel rules for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh – will they stay on red list?


The British Government’s red, amber and green lists are due for another update in just a few days from now.

And there are, of course, hopes that the Transport Secretary’s review on August 5 will open up possibilities of travel to more countries.

Many are hoping to see changes for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – all of which are currently on the red list.

READ MORE: Spain, France and Italy could go on new amber watch list in next travel review

Around a quarter of Birmingham’s population are Asian. The majority are of Pakistani origin, while others are of Bangladeshi and Indian ethnicity. Many have family in those three countries and will be wondering when they can next travel to see them, or when relatives can visit them in the UK.

Those flying to the UK from red list countries are required to quarantine in a managed hotel at a cost of £1,750.

So what is the Foreign Office guidance for going overseas?



An Air India flight lands at Birmingham Airport as services were launched from Amritsar and Delhi

India

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:

  • the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah (currently closed due to coronavirus)
  • Jammu and Kashmir, except for (i) travel within the city of Jammu, (ii) travel by air to the city of Jammu, and (iii) travel within the Union Territory of Ladakh

The tourist destinations of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg, the city of Srinagar and the Jammu-Srinagar national highway are within the areas where the FCDO advises against all travel.

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to all other parts of India, based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks. This means no holidays, but business trips and urgent family visits would be okay if absolutely necessary.

Pakistan

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:

  • the areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province formerly known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
  • the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, including travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass
  • Balochistan province including the city of Quetta but excluding the southern coast of Balochistan (see below)
  • the section of the Karakoram Highway (also known as Kara Karam Highway or KKH) from Mansehra to Chilas, via Battagram, Besham City, Dasu and Sazin
  • the immediate vicinity of the Line of Control

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel (this means no holidays, but essential business trips and urgent family visits are allowed) to the following areas:

  • Arandu town and the road between Mirkhani and Arandu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province
  • the southern coast of Balochistan, defined as the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway as well as the section of the N25 which runs from N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar
  • areas of Sindh Province north of, and including, the city of Nawabshah
  • the remainder of Pakistan based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

Bangladesh

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This does not include the city of Chittagong or other parts of Chittagong Division.

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the remainder of Bangladesh based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks.

Will they stay on the red list?

The UK Government is to update the travel lists on August 5, with changes to come into effect a week later.

India currently has an infection rate of 20 new cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days, according to Reuters.

There are 40,262 new infections on average each day, only 10 per cent of the peak number reported on May 9.

However, vaccination rates are way below those of many western countries and there are concerns that a lack of adequate testing in rural areas may mean the true picture is not reflected in the data.

Pakistan has a very low infection rate of 11 per 100,000 but it is on the rise with 3,546 new infections reported on average each day. That’s an alarming 60 per cent of the peak number reported on June 17.

Like India, its vaccination rate is very low – just 6.1 per cent of the population.

Bangladesh currently has an infection rate of 57 per 100,000 people but cases are now at a new high, with 13,364 new infections reported each day. This is the highest daily average reported so far. It has a low vaccination rate of just 3.4 per cent.

All the signs point to these three Asian countries remaining on the red list for now.



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