Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: UK PM Boris Johnson cancels India visit

Prasun Sonwalkar/London
Filed on April 19, 2021
Photo: Reuters

Johnson was due to travel to India on April 25.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's forthcoming visit was cancelled on Monday due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in India, a joint statement issued by the United Kingdom (UK) and Indian governments said.

The statement released by Downing Street said: “In light of the current coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to travel to India next week.

“Instead, Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India. They will remain in regular contact beyond this and look forward to meeting in person later this year,” it added.

This is the second time Johnson’s visit has been cancelled. He was due to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi in January, but called it off due to rising infections in the UK at the time.

Johnson was due to travel on April 25 and hold meetings in New Delhi the next day.

There is a growing demand that India be included in the 'red list' of countries from where arrivals are banned from entering the UK. The Indian variant of the virus has been detected in 77 cases in the UK.

Speaking to reporters on a visit to Gloucestershire, Johnson said: “The red list is very much a matter for the independent UK Health Security Agency – they will have to take that decision. But (Indian Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and I have basically come to the conclusion that, very sadly, I won’t be able to go ahead with the trip. I do think it’s only sensible to postpone, given what’s happened in India, the shape of the pandemic there.

“Countries around the world including our own have been through this. I think everybody’s got a massive amount of sympathy with India, what they’re going through,” he added.

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