Covishield is not a problem, Indian vaccination certificate is: UK
New Delhi : In revised UK travel guidelines, Covishield has been put under the list of approved vaccines for travel after India warned the English nation of "reciprocal measures". The move does not change the fact that Indian travellers will have to go under mandatory quarantine upon visiting UK.
The UK officials have said that the problem here is not with the vaccine Covishield, but the Indian vaccination certificate is yet to be approved.
The updated UK travel guidelines say, "Formulations of the four listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Modern Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines." But the list of countries from where travellers are allowed with complete vaccination certificate does not include India's name.
Speaking to NDTV, British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said, "India is still on the Amber category because there are still some COVID-19 cases in India. Most other nations on the list that do not need any quarantine are in the green category, where the number of active cases are very low in comparison."
"While Covishield is approved, the UK government is still trying to understand how the Indian Covid vaccine app works. And let me assure you, that this is a two-way process. We are also letting India know how the UK government Covid app works. Once we understand this better and know that it is absolutely safe, we can go ahead and remove the quarantine for Indian travellers," he said.
A British High Commission statement yesterday said: "We are engaging with the Government of India to explore how we could expand UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India."
India had warned of "reciprocal measures" if Covishield, the Indian version of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, was not recognised.
"The non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminatory policy and impacts our citizens travelling to the UK. The External Affairs Minister has raised the issue strongly with the new UK foreign secretary. I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue will be resolved," Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had told reporters yesterday.