A Win for Indian diplomacy? No quarantine for Covishield vaccinated people travelling to UK, fate of COVAXIN vaccinated still hangs in the air

After facing criticism for different quarters, UK lifts its quarantine rule for fully vaccinated Indian travellers

After facing criticism for different quarters, UK lifts its quarantine rule for fully vaccinated Indian travellers
After facing criticism for different quarters, UK lifts its quarantine rule for fully vaccinated Indian travellers

No more quarantine for Covishield-vaccinated Indians travelling to UK

British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said on Thursday that Indians fully vaccinated with Covishield or any other UK-approved vaccine travelling to the UK will not have to undergo quarantine from Monday (October 11).

Ellis tweeted, “No quarantine for Indian travellers to United Kingdom fully vaccinated with Covishield or other UK-approved vaccines from October 11. Thanks to Indian government for close cooperation over last month.” He further tweeted, “Let us grasp the situation, solve the complicated plot — quiet, calm deliberation disentangles every knot.”

The UK travel advisory had made 10-day quarantine mandatory for Indian travellers, who have received both doses of Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

However, after facing criticism for different quarters, the UK travel advisory has accommodated Covishield as an approved vaccine in the UK.

The new travel advisory that was implemented on October 4 said, “Formulations of the listed vaccines — Astra Zeneca Covishield, Astra Zeneca Vaxzevira and Moderna Takeda — qualify as approved vaccines.”

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had condemned the norms announced by the UK, pointing out that the Covishield vaccine – which India has administered to a majority of its citizens – is the same AstraZeneca vaccine that has been included in the mass inoculation drive in Britain.

In response to the UK quarantine rules for Indians, India also imposed a 10-day mandatory quarantine for UK nationals arriving in India from October 4 onwards.

The move came as reciprocity of the UK’s decision that people vaccinated with Covishield in India will have to meet the strict mandatory quarantine rules while visiting the UK.

“The measures announced today mark the next step as we continue to open up travel and provide stability for passengers and industry while remaining on track to keep travel open for good,” Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, tweeted.

The British High Commissioner to India also thanked the Indian government for cooperation over last month. As the UK has now eased the travel restrictions for vaccinated Indians to the UK, India may also take steps to reciprocate and ease the present restrictions imposed on UK travellers to India.

Although Covishield has been given an exemption, Covaxin is still not approved so people travelling to the UK will still have to go through quarantine if have been vaccinated the Covaxin jab.

However given fact that Indian diplomacy is giving the taste of its own medicine to the UK, we are hopeful that people who have taken Covaxin will soon be exempted from the quarantine regime after arrival in the UK.

[With Inputs from IANS]

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