DAYS AFTER the UK government lifted restrictions on Indian travellers who are fully vaccinated with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine, India has withdrawn a travel advisory that added Covid-19 related additional checks and restrictions on those arriving from Britain, including a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
“Based on the evolving scenario, it has been decided that the revised guidelines… stand withdrawn and the earlier guidelines on international arrival dated February 17, 2021, shall be applicable to all travellers arriving in India from the United Kingdom,” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said in a communication sent to all the states.
The memorandum has been sent to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs too.
According to the February 17 guidelines, all passengers arriving from the UK must have a negative RT-PCR report — the test must be done not earlier than 72 hours of the scheduled travel.
On October 1, India had imposed a new rule that British nationals arriving in India, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to undergo 10 days of mandatory quarantine from October 4 as part of the reciprocal action initiated by the government following the vaccine certification row between the two countries.
India decided to impose reciprocal curbs as the contentious issue relating to the UK not recognising Indian vaccine certificates could not be resolved despite holding a series of technical-level talks.
The UK recognised Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India but retained the 10-day quarantine period for fully vaccinated travellers from India. Later, British officials said the UK has issues with India’s vaccine certification process and not with the Covishield vaccine. India made changes in the Covid-19 vaccination certificates by including the date of birth, but Britain took time to go through its internal processes before lifting the restrictions.
Last week, the UK finally decided to scrap the quarantine travel rules for 47 destinations, including India.— With PTI inputs