Pak, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka join India in amber list: No doubt they think this has come too late, but Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are among countries now taken off the UK red list, which means they can now travel to Britain and quarantine for ten days at a place of their choosing, not in a hotel at high cost. Islamabad had particularly been crying foul after India was taken off the list when it had far more cases than Pakistan. British officials spoke of reporting inaccuracies in Pakistan.
Quarantine catch: The Indian uproar over lack of recognition of vaccine certification from India still places the dispute a step ahead. India is looking for an end to quarantine, in line with other countries’ travellers spared quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated. No doubt that controversy too will rise in Pakistan in the wake of expectations, and comparison with, who else.
Jaishankar and Truss may talk it out: Rather useful that Indian minister for external affairs S Jaishankar and his British counterpart Liz Truss were in handshaking distance in New York to talk the dispute over certification through. If they can’t resolve this no one can. Which points to early resolution, or a long confrontation.
Matter of principle: The whole dispute over certification is really over principle. Indian students have been happy enough to quarantine at a place of choice away from a hotel they have to pay for. Not many from anywhere observe such quarantine seriously. But this is about the British telling India they disrespect its processes and distrust its government. That message is what hurts; there isn’t a vast Indian population preparing to fly into the UK.
Tharoor tried: This dispute over quarantine for Indian travellers began with Shashi Tharoor and is likely to end with him. To his credit, it’s he who has raised the point of principle that really changed nothing on the ground. As the UK orders went, quarantine is required at present and shall continue to be after October 4. But if that is lifted as demanded, this would have been a coup for him that none in the government had even thought of attempting earlier.