As per the new Covid-related travel rules in the United Kingdom, fully jabbed Indians will not be considered vaccinated in the country and will have to undergo 10 days of quarantine.
The latest changes, announced on Friday, mandate that only people who have got both shots of a double-dose vaccine such as Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or the single shot Janssen vaccine “under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas” will be considered fully vaccinated.
Before travel to England, even the fully vaccinated in India will have to:
• Undergo a pre-departure Covid-19 test within the three days before the travel date.
• Book and pay for day two and day eight Covid-19 tests to be taken after arrival in the UK.
• Complete their passenger locator form any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
After Arriving in the country, all Indian passengers will be required to:
• Quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days.
• Take a Covid-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight.
However, these rules do not apply to travellers who are considered fully vaccinated. These travellers will not be required to take a day eight Covid-19 test, undergo a pre-departure test, quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days after the arrival.
Travellers from 17 additional countries with eligible vaccines, including Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, will no longer need to take pre-departure PCR tests for travelling into England.
However, all passengers will still need to fill in the compulsory passenger locator form ahead of travel. In the latest update, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are among eight red list destinations moved off the travel ban list from next Wednesday. Turkey, the Maldives, Egypt, Oman, and Kenya are the others to be off the red list.
The changes, which will become effective from October 4, have irked the Indians with former Union ministers Ramesh and Tharoor calling it “offensive and smacks of racism". “Absolutely bizarre considering Covishield was originally developed in the UK and The Serum Institute, Pune has supplied to that country too! This smacks of racism," Ramesh tweeted.
From October 4, the current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries based on levels of Covid-19 risk will be scrapped and replaced with one red list only, the UK government on Friday announced.
The scrapping of an amber list, which is what India is currently on, means reduced cost burden for travellers especially for the Indian diaspora vaccinated in the UK related to compulsory PCR tests. However, an expanded list of countries whose vaccines are recognised in England does not include India, which means that Indians vaccinated with Covishield the Serum Institute of India produced Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine would still be required to undergo a pre-departure PCR test and further tests on landing in the UK.