Monday, September 20, 2021

UK says discussions with India on expanding COVID vaccine certification

In response to criticism of the new British travel regulations, the UK said on Monday that it is in discussions with India about expanding recognition of the COVID-19 vaccination certification provided by Indian authorities. A spokesman for the British High Commission in India made the remarks in response to India's worries over the new Covid-related travel restrictions imposed by the UK. According to new regulations, Indian travellers who have received both doses of the Covishield vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) would be considered unvaccinated and must undergo self-isolation for ten days.

When asked about India's worries about the new regulations, which will take effect on October 4, a British High Commission spokesman stated the UK is working with India on the matter and is dedicated to reopening international travel "as soon as feasible."  "The UK is dedicated to reopening international travel as soon as practical, and this statement is a further step toward allowing people to travel more freely, in a safe and sustainable manner, while safeguarding public health," a spokesman said. "We are working with the Government of India to see how we might extend UK recognition of vaccine certification to those who have been vaccinated by a suitable public health agency in India," the source added.

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The existing "traffic light system" of red, amber, and green nations based on COVID-19 risk levels will be replaced on October 4 by a single red list of countries. The removal of the amber list, which India is now on, implies that the cost of PCR tests would be decreased only for select travellers. India is not on the extended list of nations whose vaccines are recognised in the UK. It implies that Indians who get Covishield, the SII-produced Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, will be subjected to mandatory PCR testing as well as self-isolation.

According to people familiar with the issue, the UK put visa restrictions under constant review during the outbreak in order to keep borders open while gradually and cautiously restarting travel. "The UK will continue to evaluate the scientific data on additional vaccinations and maintain the health measures under frequent assessment," one of the above-mentioned individuals stated.

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According to the sources, visa applications from Indian travellers in all categories are still being handled, and they do not need to be vaccinated to go to the UK. They stated that regardless of an Indian national's vaccination status, anyone travelling from India to the UK must take a pre-departure test and a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight, and self-isolate for 10 days.



from asianetnews

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