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Snippets from UK: End of Travel Blues for Many as Britain Moves India from Red to Amber List

UK's changed travel policy will help tens of thousands of Indian students due to arrive over the next few weeks to join classes. Representational pic

UK's changed travel policy will help tens of thousands of Indian students due to arrive over the next few weeks to join classes. Representational pic

From the implications of the eased travel restrictions to Team India's position in the first Test against England, a roundup of what's making news today.

Relief for students: The decision to take India off the UK’s travel red-listing comes as a huge relief to travellers, particularly tens of thousands of Indian students due to arrive over the next few weeks to join classes on campus at the start of the academic year next month. They had been facing a ten-day Covid quarantine at a government-designated hotel at a cost of close to two lakh rupees, a significant addition to their heavy expenses already. A strong campaign on behalf of the students no doubt helped the UK government take a timely decision.

More cricket fans may fly in: The lifting of the red-listing for Indian travellers to the UK now opens doors and flights to more Indian cricket fans to watch the four Tests after the current one – that would still be most of the Test season. Tickets are fast gone, but still not all gone; many are offering tickets at a premium. And given the determination of Indian cricket fans, many more are now certain to head to the UK to catch the remaining season.

Breaking the colour code: India has not quite moved into the green list, very few countries have. The move to amber-listing means that travellers will still have to quarantine, but at a place of their choosing, not at a government hotel at a cost of 1,750 pounds. Passengers will need a Covid test before departure, and two more after arrival on day two and day eight. For that duration authorities will keep checking regularly to see if the travellers are within their declared quarantine facilities. So some freedom, but not absolute freedom.

Rain dilutes Team India’s advantage: As predicted, rain has come to play its hand in the first Test against England, just when India had the hosts in a corner on Day 1 – Indian fans would like to say from Day 1. Rain is predicted for much of the match. India will want to forget the game against New Zealand in Southampton when the Kiwi bowlers and the rain-hit playing conditions proved more than India could take on. India now desperately need to prove a point, and have started well to that end.

Illegal migrants arrive by the boatload: There is one category of travellers to the UK who do not need to quarantine – the illegal migrants. The number of such arrivals to the UK reached a record on Wednesday after 482 are believed to have reached here in 21 small boats. Some ran into firing when they landed at a gun range. The army said it had to stop the practice firing after it found the migrants within sight. This year more than 10,000 migrants have arrived in Britain this way so far.

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first published:August 05, 2021, 19:35 IST