Days after Britain eased similar quarantine restrictions for fully-vaccinated Indians, India has withdrawn a mandatory 10-day quarantine rule for fully vaccinated British nationals arriving in the country.
In an official memorandum, India’s health ministry said the October 1 guidelines for UK nationals arriving in India have been withdrawn and the earlier rules for international arrivals on February 17 will apply.
As per travel rules from February, airlines need to ensure that passengers have a negative RT-PCR test result before flying into the UK. Upon arrival, passengers must take a test at the first point of entry.
If the passenger tests positive, they will have to isolate themselves till the treatment is completed. If they test negative, the passenger will have to undergo home quarantine for seven days and get tested again on the eighth day.
On 1 October, the Indian government imposed interpersonal travel restrictions, including mandatory quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. They were a product of diplomatic tension between the two countries over the India-made AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The UK had earlier refused to recognize Covishield, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune. The UK government only recognized vaccination certificates from a handful of countries such as the US, European countries and vaccine programs administered by the UK.
Under UK travel policy in September, fully vaccinated Indians had to isolate for 10 days and undergo a COVID-19 test at their own expense. This sparked speculation about Britain’s distrust of Indian vaccination certificates and India-made vaccines.
The regulations were labeled “discriminatory” and even “colonial” by many in India, especially since most Indians were administered Covishield, an India-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, under the Covax coalition. Exported to many countries.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar raised the issue with his British counterpart Liz Truss in New York on September 21 and reportedly urged him to remove the quarantine requirement for vaccinated Indians.
The UK government then amended its travel guidance to approve an Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but did not add India to the countries’ quarantine exemption list. The move led New Delhi to impose a retaliatory quarantine rule for British nationals.
After a severe backlash and after lengthy negotiations and allegations, the British government abolished the mandatory quarantine rule for Indian travelers from 11 October.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson had a telephone conversation on Monday, where “they welcomed the UK’s recognition of Indian vaccine certification”.
The British government statement said the two prime ministers discussed the shared fight against the coronavirus and the importance of a cautious opening of international travel.
“They agreed that the recognition of Indian vaccine certification by the UK is a welcome development to that end,” it said.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /