Fully vaccinated Indian travellers will not require to be quarantined in the United Kingdom, starting from October 11.
The British Government had earlier tweaked its travel rules from October 4 and did not mention Covishield in the list of its accepted vaccines.
Then the UK government accepted the Covishield vaccine but did not accept India’s vaccine certificates, generated by CoWin.
It must be noted that certification after coronavirus vaccinations in India is a centralised national system managed through the CoWIN app and portal.
This platform is entirely compliant with World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
The UK’s regulation meant Indian travellers vaccinated with both doses of Covishield have to undergo the mandatory quarantine in the UK.
India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla called the UK government’s decision “discriminatory” and one that impacts the travel of Indians.
British High commissioner to India Alex Ellis tweeted a video on Thursday thus bringing an end to the ongoing India-UK tussle over recognition of vaccination against Covid-19.
“Good evening! From Monday, 11th October, travellers from India to the UK, double jabbed by Covishield or any other vaccine recognised by the UK regulator does not have to quarantine. So it will easier and cheaper to enter the UK. This is great news.”
Alex Ellis also thanked the Indian government for the continuous cooperation with the UK government.
Alex Ellis added that the UK is open for Indian travellers for months and has also processed thousands of visas to students, business travellers and tourists.
“Some of the noise about this issue in the last few weeks just shows how keen people are to travel to the UK and I am delighted by that… Let’s open up more flights between the countries…”
This is the result of several rounds of talks held between India and the UK government to recognise India’s vaccine certificate.
Meanwhile, India has also imposed a similar restriction on people coming from the UK to India.
Further, the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams pulled out of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham citing coronavirus concerns and discriminatory quarantine rules for Indians in the UK.
In response to Alex Ellis’ video, Kanchan Gupta, a senior adviser in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, tweeted: “So standing up to Britian worked.”
Referring to a clear win by Narendra Modi-led Indian government, Rishi Bagree, a political observer, tweeted: “This is new India.”
A British High Commission spokesperson told Indian media that the decision was taken “after close technical cooperation between our ministries taking public health factors into account”.