The British High Commission today suggested that Indian travellers to the UK will continue following ‘non-vaccinated rules’ while underlining that London was committed to opening up international travel again as soon as was practicable.
“We are engaging with the Government of India to explore how we could expand UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India,” a high commission spokesperson said in a statement.
Today, the UK added Covishield, the India-manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, to an updated international travel advisory, a day after the Indian government threatened to take “reciprocal measures” over London’s “discriminatory policy”.
Earlier, the Serum Institute of India-manufactured vaccines was not included in the list of eligible Covid vaccines recognised under Britain’s reviewed international travel norms, effective from 4 October.
Following the criticism, Covishield is now on the UK’s approved vaccine list. However, India was not mentioned in the list of countries that were administering Covishield and have been exempted from quarantine rules. This effectively means Indians will have to still undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in the UK.
The high commission spokesperson, however, stated that today’s announcement was a further step to enable people to travel more freely again, in a safe and sustainable way, while protecting public health.