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October 2021
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National News
Continuing to engage with Indian govt on vaccine certification, says British HC
 
New Delhi, As India on Friday announced the slapping of reciprocal travel measures on the UK, the British High Commission here said that they are continuing to engage with the Indian government on technical cooperation to expand the UK’s recognition of vaccine certification to people “vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India”.

A High Commission spokesperson also said that they are seeing a lot of people going from India to the UK and they want to make the process of travelling “as easy as possible”.

A spokesperson for the British High Commission in New Delhi said: “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 UK is open to travel and we’re already seeing a lot of people going from India to the UK, be it tourists, business people or students. Over 62,500 student visas have been issued in the year ending June 2021, which is an increase of almost 30% as compared to the previous year. We want to make the process of travelling as easy as possible.”

Sources in the High Commission said the decisions on vaccine recognition are made by Ministers in the UK, taking into account public health factors.

“We’re looking at expanding the role that vaccination can play more widely for those who have been fully vaccinated elsewhere to enter the UK.”

“We will continue to review the scientific evidence on other vaccines and will keep the health measures under regular review,” the sources said.

“Visa applications from Indian travellers for all categories continue to be processed and you do not need to be vaccinated to travel to the UK,” the sources added.

“Regardless of your vaccination status, if you are travelling from India you must take a pre-departure test, and must take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, and self-isolate for 10 days. Travellers can also choose to shorten their home quarantine to around 5 days under the ‘Test to Release’ service."

The response late in the evening came as India on Friday decided to slap reciprocal measures on all UK nationals arriving from Britain from October 4, including mandatory Covid-19 RT-PCR testing before and after arrival and 10 days quarantine.

Sources said that “India has decided to impose reciprocity on UK nationals arriving in India from the UK”.

The new regulations will come into effect from October 4, and will be applicable to all UK nationals arriving from Britain.

Authorities in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would be taking steps to implement the new measures, the sources added.

The announcement by India of reciprocal measures comes nearly 10 days after the UK announced the go-ahead to AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine but left out India from the list of approved countries for vaccine certification.

Friday's move comes days after Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had warned that India could "impose reciprocal measures” if the UK did not heed India’s request to give recognition to India’s Covid vaccination.


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