UK Finally Gives In: No Quarantine For Fully Vaccinated Indians From This Date
The UK has announced that it will no longer require travelers from India to undergo quarantine upon arrival.
British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis tweeted that those fully vaccinated with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine won’t have to quarantine starting from 11 October.
The move comes about as a relief after a long standing row between the two countries over UK’s refusal to recognise Covishield vaccinated travelers.
On October 1 India had retaliated by imposing mandatory 10-day quarantine on travelers from the UK coming to India regardless of vaccination status.
It was in response to a heavily criticised stand by the UK in which said it would not recognise visitors as vaccinated unless they received their shots in a handful of select countries.
The decision was dubbed discriminatory and even “colonialist”.
British officials had said that there was no objection to the vaccine itself but with India’s “vaccination certification” process.
Dr RS Sharma, CEO of India’s National Health Authority, said that vaccine certification was a centralised national system managed through the CoWIN app and portal.
There were no issues with the platform which complies with World Health Organisation standards.
Expanding Number Of Recognised Countries
Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps tweeted that it is reducing entry requirements for travellers visiting England.
It has limited its Red List to seven countries, further opening up the British economy for global business and tourism.
It will now recognise those with fully-vaccinated status from 37 new countries and territories including India, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and Ghana.
They will be treated the same as British fully vaccinated passengers.
Situation Under Constant Review
A British High Commission spokesperson said that the decision was made in cooperation between ministries taking public health factors into account.
They explained that the country constantly reviews new efficacy data and information on vaccine rollout internationally.
It also keeps visa rules under review on a regular basis to work towards keeping borders open in a gradual and safe restart to travel.
The new rules now require those not fully vaccinated with one of the four UK-recognised vaccines to undergo a pre-departure test and a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, and self-isolate for 10 days.
The recognised vaccines are Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen – or any formulation of these vaccines, including Covishield.