The United Kingdom (UK) government faced immense backlash over their refusal to recognise citizens as vaccinated unless they received their jabs from a few selected countries only. This move was termed as discriminatory and even “colonialist” by everyone around the world.
In a twist, British citizens visiting India from Monday, October 4, 2021, will undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine period, irrespective of their vaccination status. Sources in the government reveal that this is a tit-for-tat kind of measure over the UK’s controversial rules for residents of several countries including India.
Sources say that all UK nationals arriving in India from October 4, will have to mandatory undertake three Covid-19 RT-PCR tests. First is within 72 hours before they travel, second on arrival at the airport and third on day eighth after their arrival. In addition, they will also be quarantined at home or at the destination they reach for 10 days, after arrival in India.
Under the new travel rules unveiled last month in the UK, full-vaccinated arrivals from several countries are allowed to set foot in England, without quarantine starting October 4. However, those who come from countries with large populations continue to face stringent rules including 10 days of home isolation.
Harsh Shringla, India’s Foreign Secretary, had termed these rules as “discriminatory” and did warn that “reciprocal action” may be required on part of the Indian government, to implement.
Later, the UK government adjusted its policy and included Covishield jabs as an approved vaccine. However, India still did not make it to the list of acceptable places to receive the dose. Hence, those who received Covishield jabs in the UK are counted as vaccinated, but those, who received their dose in India, are not considered.
As per British officials, they cited India’s “vaccination certification” process as a problem. However, the CEO of India’s National Health Authority Dr RS Sharma said that the certification is a centralised system managed through the CoWIN app and portal. He also added that the entire process is in compliance with the World Health Organisation standards and so, there are no issues.