Approximately 50 British parliamentarians have questioned UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the decision to put Pakistan and Banglades on a travel 'red list' due to coronavirus without any scientific reasoning amid the lack of data.
The UK prime minister was asked to answer this seemingly arbitrary ban in a letter written by parliamentarian Yasmin Qureshi, the chair of the All Parties Parliamentary Group on Pakistan (APPG), and signed by around 50 parliamentarians from both the Labour and Conservative groups.
In the letter, Qureshi pointed out that as a result of this arbitrary ban the impact on British-Pakistanis will be huge:
“The placing of these countries on the red list will have a huge impact on many UK residents. The UK has over 1.1 million British Pakistanis and a large number of British Bangladeshis. Whilst we support measures where there is a clear need to act to protect the UK in relation to COVID-19, we have major concerns about the way this plan has been implemented without providing clear evidence for that decision."
The lawmaker urged the British government to consider how much it is going to cost an average British-Pakistani to mold their plans as the ban is to take effect on April 9th:
"We feel that the government should do everything it can to help our constituents left stranded by this decision. They are being put into a position of either being stuck abroad or getting into considerable debt to pay to get home. We are asking for the government to explore charter flight options or to provide financial support for those stranded. If this cannot be done, then measures need to be put in place to extend the cut-off date.”
Earlier this month, The UK High Commissioner Christian Turner had announced the British government's decision to add Pakistan to its red list thereby banning incoming travel to England from next week, citing coronavirus "variants of concern".
Turner, on the behalf of his government, had disclosed on Friday that a ban on visitors from Kenya, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Pakistan would enter force at 0300 GMT on April 9. As a result of this ban, the UK and Irish nationals and those with UK residence rights traveling from those countries will have to quarantine in hotels for 10 days.