Heathrow Airport has refused requests for extra flights from India before the country is added to the UK’s coronavirus “red list”.
Four airlines asked for a total of eight extra flights to arrive at the west London airport before 4am on Friday.
Britons returning after that point will be forced to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.
Anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident or a British citizen will be banned from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days.
It is understood Heathrow declined the airlines’ requests to ensure existing pressures at the border are not exacerbated.
India was added to the “red list” in response to mounting concern about the number of coronavirus cases there and the emergence of a variant.
Heathrow Airport has seen long queues at border control in recent times as passengers have forms checked according to entry requirements amid coronavirus restrictions.
An All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus heard on Tuesday that while queues in immigration halls vary, on average there are two to three hour delays at large locations like Heathrow.