After New Delhi reportedly imposed a mandatory 10-day quarantine on British citizens visiting India, the UK government said he was working to make the Indian travel process “as easy as possible,” News18 reported on Friday.
“We continue to engage with the Indian government on technical cooperation to extend UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India,” said a spokesperson for the UK high commission.
The New Delhi quarantine rule is a reciprocal measure because Indians traveling to the UK must also be quarantined for 10 days.
At first, the problem was that the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield was not on the UK’s list of approved coronavirus vaccines. The UK then added the vaccine to its list after New Delhi warned of “reciprocal measures,” but the quarantine remained as UK government officials cast doubt on the vaccine’s certification in India.
The United Kingdom considers that people vaccinated against the coronavirus in Africa and South America, and in certain other countries, including India, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand and Russia, are not not vaccinated.
In response, India also reportedly ordered that British citizens traveling to India must also be quarantined regardless of their vaccination status from Oct. 4, multiple media reported, citing unidentified officials.
Following this, the British high commission said the decision on vaccine certificates was taken by the country’s ministers in view of public health.
“We are looking to expand the role that vaccination can play more widely for those who have been fully vaccinated elsewhere to enter the UK,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the high commission had taken into account the high number of Indians coming to the UK, whether for tourism, education or other purposes.
The spokesperson added that the UK government has constantly reviewed its visa rules throughout the pandemic to keep borders open while gradually restarting travel.
“We will continue to review the scientific evidence on other vaccines and keep health measures under regular review,” the spokesperson said.
On September 22, RS Sharma, the chief executive of the National Health Authority, said there was no problem with the Covid-19 certification provided by the government’s CoWIN portal.
On the same day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a global Covid summit hosted by US President Joe Biden that international travel should be made easier through mutual recognition of vaccine certificates.