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UK ‘simplified’ travel rules do not cover vaccinated Indians | India News

LONDON: Britain’s so-called “simplified” international travel system that removes an amber list of Covid-19 medium-risk countries went into effect on Monday, but offers no benefits for vaccinated Indians traveling to the UK.
The UK enraged India by failing to recognize fully vaccinated Indian travelers as part of the new rules announced last month, even though Covishield, made in India, is among its globally eligible vaccine formulations listed in the list.
India, in retaliation, imposed its reciprocal measures on all British travelers, regardless of vaccination status, requiring the same level of PCR testing and 10-day quarantine at the declared destination, also in effect as of Monday.
“We continue to work with international partners, including India, to implement our phased approach,” said a UK government spokesman.
The UK’s new system covers more than 50 countries, including the United States and the European Union (EU) member nation plus 18 others, such as Canada, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. Travelers from these countries can now travel to England without completing a pre-departure test, an 8-day test, or entering a 10-day self-isolation period. They only require a single PCR test on the second day after arrival in the UK.
“This builds on the UK government’s successful pilot phase with Europe and the US, and brings the total number of countries in the policy scope to over 50, with more countries and territories added in the next few weeks, “said the Department of Transportation. .
The fact that India is not on the list of eligible countries means that travelers must take all three tests (before departure, day 2 and day 8) and self-isolate at a declared address, with the option of “test to release” of the isolation after a negative PCR test on day 5. This effectively remains unchanged from India’s amber list status which is already in effect.
Travelers from countries on the red list, around 54 in total, continue to be forced to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine at a government-designated hotel, a requirement the UK government is said to be considering ruling out for a majority on the red list. at the end of this month.
From the middle of this month, the British government also plans to replace PCR tests with a cheaper lateral flow test for vaccinated arrivals. However, the timing and details of this change remain unclear.
Meanwhile, UK government sources said over the weekend that the extension of the vaccine’s certification to other countries will be reviewed roughly every three weeks and that it continues to collaborate with the Indian government on the issue.
“The UK continues to work to expand the policy to countries and territories around the world in a gradual approach. We continue to work with the Government of India on technical cooperation to expand the UK’s recognition of vaccine certification to people. vaccinated by a relevant public. health corps in India, “said the sources.
“We are working with a variety of international partners and look forward to continuing the expansion of the policy to countries and territories around the world in a phased approach. The extension of vaccine certification will be reviewed approximately every three weeks,” they added.
The first three-week check mark since the updated UK travel regulations were first announced falls later this week.
“We are moving into a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remain open forever, and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel industry,” said Monday on Monday. UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“Our priority remains protecting public health, but with more than 8 in 10 people now fully vaccinated, we can take these steps to reduce the cost of testing and help the industry continue to recover,” he said.
All arrivals to the UK, from any country, must complete a passenger locator form prior to travel.
Meanwhile, the UK travel industry has welcomed the government’s latest move to ease testing and quarantine restrictions.
Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, which represents UK airlines, said: “Things are moving in the right direction and removing these restrictions will make travel easier and cheaper for people.”
However, he said the UK remains “an outlier in the arrival tests for vaccinated passengers”.
Airlines UK expects more countries to be removed from the red list in the next update and more mutual recognition of the status of the vaccine for those who have received injections in other countries, the BBC said.
Willie Walsh, director of the industry body for the International Air Transport Association, welcomed the change as a “positive step” and said government testing and quarantine restrictions had been unscientific and costly.
“People have been led to believe that the risk is that people enter the country by plane. The risk was within the country,” he said.
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