UK travel update: India’s vaccine certification process an issue, not jab

UK Covid travel
Currently, Indians travelling to UK are required to take the Covid test before departure whether or not they have been vaccinated | Twitter/London Stansted airport

A day after India warned the UK of retaliatory action for putting travel restrictions on Indians, the European country has clarified that it will allow Indians who are fully vaccinated but they will still have to undergo quarantine.

The UK Government said that it has issues with “vaccine certification” from India and not people who have taken vaccine.

Earlier it had said that it will not recognise those travelling from India as fully vaccinated even if they have taken the vaccine shots, especially Covishield.

This, the government now explained, was due to doubts regarding the vaccine certification process in India, and clarified that it accepts vaccines such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna Takeda and Jansen.

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Currently, Indians travelling to UK are required to take the Covid test before departure whether or not they have been vaccinated. If they don’t, they would have to pay 500 pounds. On arrival, they would be required to stay in quarantine for 10 days and have to take Covid tests on the second and eighth days.

According to a report in The Print, authorities in the UK also feel that relaxing its visa restrictions good result in a large number of Indians entering the country. This is believed to be a cause of concern for the UK as it would become extremely difficult to manage another wave of Covid in the country.

The UK said that it is working with India to sort out the issue and the process is ongoing to review travel restrictions.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar had on Tuesday tweeted that he had sought early resolution of the quarantine issue during a meeting with his UK counterpart Elizabeth Truss on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had on Tuesday said that the travel restrictions are discriminatory against Indians. New Delhi had also warned London of “reciprocal action”.

The issue had snowballed after Indian leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh called out the country for its “offensive” and “racist” policy.

India has issued 82 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses to its population, with over 61 crore people taking the first dose and another 21 crore people being fully vaccinated as on September 21, 2021, according to the COWIN portal dashboard.

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