UK relaxes travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Indians

UK relaxes travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Indians
Thousands of Indians travel to the UK for work, higher studies and leisure. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The United Kingdom has eased travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Indians who have received a UK-approved vaccine.

They will not have to take a Covid test or self-isolate when they arrive in the UK, starting 11 October.

The decision is a relief to thousands of Indians who travel to the UK for studies, work and leisure.

The guidelines changed days after Indian government imposed reciprocal measures on British citizens in retaliation for UK travel curbs on Indian citizens.

Trouble has been brewing for some time between Indian and the UK over Covishield, the Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is identical to the doses given to millions of Britons.

The British government had earlier refused to recognise Covishield. So, fully vaccinated Indian travellers had to still take coronavirus tests and isolate themselves for 10 days – at their own expense – before they were allowed to leave quarantine.

After the UK government’s decision created outrage in India against what many called “a discriminatory rule”, UK designated Covishield an approved jab last month.

But it didn’t add India to its exempt-from-quarantine list and the travel restrictions continued. Similarly-vaccinated travellers to the United Kingdom from many other countries were not facing the same restrictions.

This led to a backlash from India, which imposed a mandatory quarantine last week for fully vaccinated British nationals travelling to India.

UK’s decision to ease travel restrictions for Indian citizens comes at a time when India’s daily cases have fallen from a peak of 400,000 during a devastating second wave in May to around 21,000 on Thursday.

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