Visa rules on TB screening to change

FOREIGN travellers coming to the UK from countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis will have to be screened for the potentially fatal infection before being granted a visa under new rules, the government said.

Damian Green, the immigration minister, said the scheme for migrants coming from countries including China, India and South Africa, will help save lives and will save more than £40 million over ten years.

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TB is at its highest level in the UK for more than 30 years, with 9,000 new cases last year, up 5 per cent from 2010, he said.

Under the new visa rules, to be introduced in stages, infectious TB sufferers and those diagnosed with active TB will be denied entry to the UK.

The pre-entry screening will replace screening at UK airports after a pilot scheme in 15 countries found 300 active cases among 400,000 migrants.