Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 28 November 2021 2.21 AM IST

No quarantine for fully vaccinated Indians travelling to UK from October 11


NEW DELHI: Putting an end to the vaccine certification row, the UK on Thursday announced that Indian travellers fully vaccinated with both doses of Covishield will not require to undergo quarantine in Britain from October 11.

The announcement was made by British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis.

A British High Commission spokesperson said the UK has further opened up international travel and will recognise India''s vaccine certification system from October 11.

"From Monday, a traveller from India to the UK, double jabbed with Covishield or another vaccine recognised by the UK regulator does not have to quarantine. It will be easier and cheaper to enter the UK. This is great news," Ellis said in a video statement.

He also thanked the Indian government for close cooperation on the matter over the last month.

Separately, the UK issued a fresh travel advisory and said the "red list" will reduce to seven countries and "proof of vaccination will be recognised from 37 new countries and territories including India from 4 am on Monday.

The announcement came hours after India said it is hopeful of finding a solution to the vaccine certification row.

Under the new British rules that came into effect on October 4, Indians, fully vaccinated with Covishield, were required to undergo 10-day quarantine as the UK had issues with India''s COVID-19 vaccine certification.

In a retaliatory move, India imposed reciprocal action under which all British nationals arriving in India from the UK needed to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated.

"We have actually been open for Indian travellers for months. We have been issuing thousands of visas to Indian students, to business travellers, to tourists," Ellis said.

"Some of the noise about this issue over the last few weeks just shows how keen people are to travel to the UK and I am delighted by that. So, let''s now go further. Let''s open up more flights between the two countries, let''s get British tourists able to come in to India," Ellis said.

The spokesperson said "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."

In its advisory, the UK said the government extended the inbound vaccinated arrivals system to a further 37 countries and territories across the globe including India, South Africa and Turkey, which meant eligible vaccinated passengers arriving from the rest of world countries only need to take a "day two test in England".

It said eligible travellers vaccinated in the 37 countries and territories will be "treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England."

People familiar with the matter said Indian travellers who have received both doses of Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine will not also be required to take a pre-departure test nor take a day 8 test following their arrival.

The UK initially refused to recognise Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). However, following India''s strong criticism of the decision, the UK on September 22 amended its new guidelines and included the vaccine.

The move did not provide any relief from quarantine rules for Indian travellers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield.

Later, British officials said the UK has issues with India''s vaccine certification process and not with the Covishield vaccine.

The two sides held a series of technical-level talks to resolve the vaccine certification issue.

The new British rules had triggered massive criticism in India.

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