India will be added to the coronavirus travel "red list" on Friday, over concerns over a new variant found in the country.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs that India would be added to the red list from 4am on Friday.

Matt Hancock said: "We've recently seen a new variant first identified in India. We've now detected 103 cases of this variant, of which again the vast majority have links to international travel and have been picked up by our testing at the border."

Mr Hancock said the samples have been analysed to see if the new variant has any "concerning characteristics" such as greater transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.

He added: "After studying the data, and on a precautionary basis, we've made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also tweeted announcing the measure.

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Mr Shapps said: "The latest data shows we must add #India to the Government’s Red List, ensuring we don’t lose our hard-won progress on the vaccine rollout.

"From 0400 Friday 23 April only British, Irish and third-country nationals with residency rights travelling from India can enter England, and will be required to self-isolate in a Govt-approved hotel for ten days."

Other countries on the government's red list include Brazil and South Africa where other variants have been found.