India ends 10-day quarantine for vaccinated British travelers.
India has withdrawn the mandatory 10-day quarantine rule for fully vaccinated British citizens arriving in the country days after the UK eased similar quarantine restrictions on fully stabbed Indians.
In an official memorandum, the Indian Ministry of Health said its October 1st guidelines for British nationals arriving in India will be withdrawn, with earlier international arrival rules as of February 17th.
According to February travel regulations, airlines must ensure passengers have a negative RT-PCR test result before boarding in the UK. Upon arrival, travelers must take a test at the first entry point.
If the passenger tests positive, they must isolate themselves until treatment is complete. If the test is negative, the passenger must be quarantined at home for seven days and retested on the eighth day.
On October 1, the Indian government imposed mutual travel restrictions, including mandatory quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. They were a product of diplomatic tensions between the two countries over the India-made AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Britain had previously refused to recognize Covishield, which is made by the Serum Institute of India in Pune. The UK government has only recognized vaccination certificates from a handful of countries including the US, European nations and UK administered vaccine programs.
According to UK travel policy, fully vaccinated Indians were required to isolate themselves for 10 days in September and take Covid-19 tests at their own expense. This sparked speculation about the UK’s distrust of Indian vaccination certificates and Indian-made vaccines.
The rules have been called “discriminatory” and even “colonial” by many in India, especially as the majority of Indians have been given Covishield, an Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is also exported to many countries under the Covax Alliance .
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar spoke to his British counterpart Liz Truss on Jan.
The UK government then changed its travel advice to approve the Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but did not add India to the list of quarantined countries. The move resulted in New Delhi imposing a retaliatory quarantine rule on UK nationals.
After violent backlashes and a long series of negotiations and allegations, the British government ended the mandatory quarantine rule for Indian travelers on October 11th.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson held a phone call on Monday in which “they welcomed the UK’s recognition of India’s vaccine certification”.
The UK government’s statement said the two prime ministers spoke about fighting the coronavirus together and the importance of cautiously opening up international travel.
“They agreed that the UK’s recognition of India’s vaccine certification was a welcome move in that direction,” it said.