UK Approves Covishield; No Quarantine Relief For Indians

Story Highlights
  • The UK on Wednesday added Covishield to its list of recognised vaccines.
  • The Indian Covid vaccine certification method has been questioned by the United Kingdom.
  • Vaccinated Indians will still have to observe 10-day quarantine upon arrival in UK.

The United Kingdom has added AstraZeneca Covishield to its range of approved Covid-19 vaccinations. However, as of yet, the modified restrictions that take effect on October 4 do not provide release from quarantine for fully vaccinated (with WHO-approved Covishield) tourists from India. The Indian Covid vaccine certification method has been questioned by the United Kingdom. As a result, even fully vaccinated (with Covishield) Indians will be required to quarantine in the UK upon arrival under the modified restrictions for non-red list.

The issue, according to UK high commissioner Alex Ellis, is due to a fundamental adjustment in his country’s travel policy, which was only revealed on September 17, and he made it plain that Covishield is “not a problem.” He refused to offer a timeline for resolving the issue, but said the process of recognising India’s vaccination certification is going “at a quick speed.”

British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said: “We have been having detailed technical discussions regarding certification, with the builders of the CoWIN app and the NHS app, about both apps. They’re happening at a rapid pace, to ensure that both countries mutually recognise the vaccine certificates issued by each other. We’re clear Covishield is not a problem. The UK is open to travel and we’re already seeing a lot of people going from India to the UK, be it tourists, business people or students. Over 62,500 student visas have been issued in the year ending June 2021, which is an increase of almost 30% as compared to the previous year. We want to make the process of travelling as easy as possible.”

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