New Delhi: All UK nationals, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to undergo compulsory RT-PCR tests and 10-day quarantine on arriving in India. The travellers will also need to produce a negative RT-PCR test result, done 72 hours before boarding a flight to India.
Further, as per the new guidelines those coming from the UK will also have to undergo an RT-PCR test on the eight day of arrival in India.
The new regulations will come into force from October 4 and will be applicable to everyone travelling from the UK. This move comes in reciprocation to the UK’s travel norms, which mandate 10-day quarantine of all Indians, irrespective of their vaccination status.
Responding to the ‘reciprocal’ measure, the UK on Friday said that the it is continuing to cooperate with other countries across the globe to expand recognition of COVID vaccine certification in a phased approach.
“The UK is continuing to work on expanding the policy to countries and territories across the globe in a phased approach. We are continuing to engage with the Government of India on technical cooperation to expand UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India,” the British High Commission spokesperson said in a statement.
Despite Covishield, the Serum Institute of India manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, being added as eligible to an expanded UK travel advisory last month, UK said India’s vaccine certification does not meet the “minimum criteria”.
The UK government has said that Covid-19 vaccine certification from all countries must meet a “minimum criteria”. But with India’s vaccine certification not on a list of 18 approved countries, Indian travellers to the UK will continue to be treated as non-vaccinated and therefore required to quarantine for 10 days on arrival.
From October 4, England’s traffic light system of red, amber and green countries based on levels of Covid-19 risk is to be officially scrapped. Travellers who are not fully vaccinated, or vaccinated in a country such as India currently not on the UK government’s recognised list, must take a pre-departure test, pay for day two and day eight PCR tests after arrival in England and self-isolate for 10 days, with an option to “test to release” after five days following a negative PCR test.
The Indian government had expressed its strong condemnation of such a move and warned of “reciprocal measures” if vaccinated travellers from India continued to be treated in a “discriminatory” way.