Travelling to UK? Know latest rules on Covishield, quarantine
The United Kingdon on Wednesday recognised Covishield, a formulation of Oxford's AstraZeneca vaccine, as a recognised vaccine in the country. However, there is no clarity yet on whether people fully vaccinated with Covishield will be exempt from the mandatory quarantine period or not as the revised UK travel guideline is silent on India's vaccine certificate and earlier the UK raised some issues with the Co-Win certification.
The new rules are applicable from 4am on October 4.
Here is all you need to know about the ongoing controversy:
Is Covishield, Covaxin recognised by the UK?
The UK government has recently recognised Covishield, as it is a formulation of AstraZeneca. Covaxin is not recognised in the United Kingdom.
Will Indian travellers fully vaccinated with Covishield be exempt from mandatory quarantine?
If a particular vaccine is approved, it means travellers who have been inoculated with the vaccine will not have to undergo quarantine there. But according to reports, the UK government is yet to recognise the Co-Win certificate. So, as of now, there is no clarity on whether Indians vaccinated with both doses of Covishield will be exempt from quarantine or not.
Can unvaccinated Indians travel to the UK?
Yes. Unvaccinated travellers can travel to the United Kingdom, provided they take a pre-departure Covid-19 test, book and pay for day 2 and day 8 tests to be taken after the arrival in England and complete a passenger locator form anytime in the 48 hours before arriving in England.
If the UK government does not recognise Co-Win certificate, there will effectively be no difference between vaccinated or unvaccinated Indians as everyone will have to undergo the mandatory quarantine period. Since there is still time for the new vaccine rules to become effective, it is expected that both governments will work out a solution where people fully vaccinated with Covishield will be exempt from quarantine.
What is UK's problem with the Co-Win certificate?
Co-Win is the one-stop-shop software for India's all vaccine-related issues. It generates the certificate which according to top government officials is of international standard.
Initially, the UK government did not even keep India on the list of countries whose vaccines are recognised in the UK. After it mentioned Covishield following India's nudge as India told that a similar action might be taken against people travelling to India from the UK, the government included Covishield and clarified that they do not have a problem with the vaccine, but they have some doubts regarding the vaccine certificate.