Govt withdraws quarantine rules for UK nationals
ndia has withdrawn the need for UK nationals to mandatorily quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, irrespective of their vaccination status, days after the government in London added India to the list of countries from where people will be able to show proof of vaccination to skip a similar quarantine rule.
The decisions caps a controversy over vaccine passports that reached some of the highest diplomatic channels, beginning with the UK refusing to recognise India’s vaccine certificates at first and prompting a retaliatory move by New Delhi.
In an official memorandum issued on October 11, the Union health ministry said that based on the evolving scenario, it was decided that the revised guidelines stand withdrawn and the earlier guidelines on international arrival issued on February 17, this year, will be applicable to all international travellers arriving in India from the UK, a person familiar with developments said.
According to the travel rules from February 17, airlines need to ensure passengers have a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result before they board the flight at UK. On arrival, they need to take a test at the first point of entry. If positive, the passenger needs to be isolated and treated. If they are negative, they need to be in home quarantine for seven days and get re-tested on the eighth day.
Initially, the UK recognised Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India but retained the 10-day quarantine period for fully vaccinated travellers from India. The move was attacked as discriminatory by the Indian government. India then decided to impose reciprocal curbs against all British nationals arriving in the country as the contentious issue relating to the UK not recognising Indian vaccine certificates could not be resolved despite holding a series of technical-level talks.
UK officials later held multiple discussions with teams in India managing the Co-WIN platform, which is used to issue as well as verify vaccine certificates.