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India to protest against new UK vaccine travel rules not recognising Covishield

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India will protest against new UK travel rules putting those who are vaccinated with Covishield in the category of the ‘unvaccinated’. From 4 October, United Kingdom will welcome fully vaccinated travellers from a host of new countries under the UK Under rules notified by it on September 17.

This includes Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Only those who are inoculated under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US, or UK vaccine programme overseas will be considered fully vaccinated. 

The list of countries whose vaccines are recognised in the UK does not include India. This means those Indians who are vaccinated with Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin would continue to be subject to the restrictions that apply to the unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, India has decided to take up the matter at the diplomatic level and would also invoke the ‘reciprocity principle’ if the UK did not review its decision, an Indian media website quoted sources. India has already communicated with the British High Commission that it would also put British citizens on a mandatory 10-day quarantine. 

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is likely to speak to the newly-appointed British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, while the health authorities of the two countries are also in touch on the matter.

Eighteen European countries have so far approved the Covishield vaccine including France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Romania, and Slovenia.

Covishield is recognised by the World Health Organisation and the United States and most other countries consider it as a safe and approved vaccine.

New UK travel rules

Travellers who are not recognised as being fully vaccinated with authorised vaccines and certificates will have to take a pre-departure RT-PCR test.

Further, they have to take the RT-PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8 after their arrival in Britain, and self-isolate at their given address for 10 days after entry.

The UK has replaced its current ‘traffic light’ system of red, amber, and green countries based on levels of COVID-19 risk with a single ‘red’ list.

Currently, under the ‘traffic light’ system of red, amber, and green countries India is on the amber list of the United Kingdom.

The two-tier system is expected to stay in place until the end of the year, with a review planned for early in the new year.

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Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com

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