The UK on Thursday announced that Indian travellers won’t have to quarantine
upon their arrival if they are either fully vaccinated with Covishield or
any other UK-approved Covid-19 jab. The rule will come into effect from
October 11. “No quarantine for Indian travellers to UK. Fully vaccinated
with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine from 11 October. Thanks to
Indian government for close cooperation over last month,” British High
Commissioner to India Alex Ellis tweeted.
This comes after a major row between India and the UK over Britain’s travel
advisory, which included Covishield in its list of accepted vaccines, but
still required vaccinated travellers from India to quarantine themselves for
10 days upon arrival. The UK at the time said it didn’t accept the CoWIN
UPDATE: From Monday (11th Oct) 📅 I’ll be cutting 47 destinations from our red list – including South Africa, with just 7 countries and territories remaining ⚠️ – all others will be included in the “rest of world” category 🌐 [1/3]
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) October 7, 2021
No quarantine for Indian 🇮🇳 travellers to UK 🇬🇧 fully vaccinated with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine from 11 October.
Thanks to Indian government for close cooperation over last month. pic.twitter.com/cbI8Gqp0Qt
— Alex Ellis (@AlexWEllis) October 7, 2021
On the latest development, a British High Commission spokesperson said the
decision was taken “after close technical cooperation between our ministries
taking public health factors into account”. “The extension of vaccine
certification is a further step to enable people to travel more freely again,
in a safe and sustainable way, while protecting public health,” the
Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps also tweeted that he’s making changes so that
travellers from 37 countries, including India, face fewer entry restrictions.
“I’m also making changes so travellers visiting England have fewer entry
requirements, by recognising those with fully-vax status from 37 new countries
and territories including India, Turkey and Ghana, treating them the same as
UK fully vax passengers.”
The Vaccine Certification Row
Earlier, the UK didn’t even include Covishield in its list of accepted
vaccines, drawing sharp criticism from India, with foreign secretary Harsh
Vardhan Shringla calling the UK government’s decision “discriminatory” and one
that impacts the travel of Indians. He had added that it is within the
country’s “right to take reciprocal measures” if the matter was not resolved.
Following the backlash, the UK had on September 22 revised its travel advisory
to include Covishield in its list of accepted vaccines, but mandated Indians
to quarantine and get tested on arrival. Since then, both the countries were
in talks to resolve the quarantine clause.
In a tit-for-tat move, India had last week updated its travel advisory
mentioning states that all British nationals arriving in India from the UK
will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine from Monday irrespective of
their vaccination status.
Recently, the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams pulled out of the 2022
Commonwealth Games in Birmingham citing coronavirus concerns and
discriminatory quarantine rules for Indians in the UK.