The United Kingdom has announced changes in its travel and quarantine rules and said that the UK now recognises Covishield as a vaccine. This comes after the Indian government had threatened 'reciprocal action' amid a growing row over UK not recognising the Covishield vaccine made in India.
However, Indians who have taken the Covishield vaccine will still have to remain in quarantine due to a 'certification' issue, according to the UK government.
In its latest travel update, the UK has said that from October 4, one will qualify as fully vaccinated if they are “vaccinated under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan”.
It further mentions, “Formulations of the four listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.”
India yesterday had warned of "reciprocal measures" if the UK did not address its concerns over the new travel rules relating to COVID-19 vaccine certification, calling the new policy "discriminatory".
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also took up the issue of Covishield-vaccinated travellers being required to quarantine in the UK with newly-appointed British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss at a meeting in New York yesterday.
"The basic issue is that here is a vaccine, Covishield, which is a licensed product of the UK company, manufactured in India of which we have supplied five million doses to the UK at the request of the government of the UK,” said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
"We understand that this is being used under the national health system, and, therefore, non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminatory policy and does impact those of our citizens travelling to the UK," Shringla said at a media briefing.