India likely to relax quarantine rules for UK travellers after Covishield move: Report
The UK has now accepted India's Covishield vaccine and its certificate and Indians vaccinated with both doses of this vaccine will not require mandatory quarantine in the UK from October 11.
The Union ministry of health will issue fresh guidelines for travellers coming to India from the United Kingdom as the UK government on Thursday amended travel rules for Indians and said people vaccinated with two doses of Covishield will not be required for quarantining. Citing sources, news agency ANI said the order will be issued soon.
The UK government took time to consider Indians double-vaccinated with Covishield as fully vaccinated people. In its new travel rules that came into effect from October 4 onwards, it said it recognises Covishield but not the vaccine certificate given in India. Hence, people vaccinated with Covishield arriving in the UK after October 4 had to undergo 10-day mandatory quarantine.
India took a likewise measure and made quarantine mandatory for passengers coming to India from the UK, while both countries remained engaged in talks over easing the travel restrictions.
On Thursday, British high commissioner in India Alex Ellis said the UK government has revised the travel rules and from October 11, Indians vaccinated with two doses of Covishield will no longer be required to quarantine. India is likely to announce similar measures before October 11.
The UK-India travel tussle has been going on for the past few weeks after the UK government's new travel rules, which drew flak from India. India termed the rules as discriminatory as Covishield, manufactured by Pune's Serum Institute of India, is just a formulation of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine. India had also exported Covishield to the UK, the government said. When the UK side said that it does not have any problem with the vaccine, but with the vaccine certificates, India said its vaccine certificates generated by Co-WIN maintains international standards.
India's restriction on UK travellers was a retaliatory move as the government had earlier warned foreign nations. India has so far not imposed any restriction on vaccinated people coming from any other country.