UK authorities banned all travel to and from India on Friday after a growing surge in novel coronavirus cases following the detection of a new variant in this country.

“From 4am on Friday 23 April, visitors who have been in or transited through India in the previous 10 days cannot enter the UK,” according to the updated travel advice by the UK government.

With the latest change, British and Irish nationals, and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from India will be required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

The travel ban followed reports of India recording a staggering 314,835 new infections on Thursday, the highest-ever single-day figure recorded across the world.

Indian Health Ministry data showed that the country’s total caseload had risen to 15.9 million, while the total number of fatalities stands at 184,657, including a record 2,104 additional deaths.

Amid an exponential surge in daily coronavirus infections — over 200,000 since April 15 — hospitals across the country are struggling to maintain oxygen supplies. There has also been a shortage of beds and treatment drugs such as Remdesivir.

The travel ban came after 55 more cases of the Indian variant were detected in the UK and days since Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off a trip to India.

According to regulations in Britain, it is illegal to travel abroad until May 17, when the government will announce updated rules alongside an update of the red list.

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