The UK has added Covishield to its list of accepted vaccines against Covid-19. However, travellers from India who are fully vaccinated would still have to undergo quarantine under the relaxed forces that will come into force from October 4.
The UK revised its international travel advisory on September 22 and approved several formulations of the COVID-19 vaccines including Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The guidelines suggest that the UK does not have problems with the formulation of the Covishield vaccine but with the certification of vaccine by vaccine through the Cowin app.
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The new list of approved vaccines includes Covishield, the formulation of the OXford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the SII. The UK will consider a traveller as fully vaccinated only if they have received a full dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or the Janssen shot.
The UK will also consider different formulations of the four vaccines such as Takeda (Moderna), Covishield (AstraZeneca) or Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca).
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India has still been kept in the list of countries whose travellers are required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the UK. UK officials have said that the same has been due to issues in Indian vaccination certificates.
Travellers from 18 countries including Canada, Antigua, Denmark and Barbuda, cleared by London for the UKs green list, who have been vaccinated Covishield will be allowed to travel to Britain without having to undergo mandatory quarantine protocols. However, travellers from India would still have to undergo a 10-day home quarantine even if they have been inoculated with the same Covishield vaccine.
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Sanam Arora, founder and chairperson of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK, said that fundamentally there has been no change other than the inclusion of Covishield in the list of approved Covid-19 vaccines. Students arriving from India from October 4 would still have to quarantine for 10 days.
The UK has granted 65,000 visas for Indian students for this academic year, which amounts to a 30% rise from the previous year.
Alex Ellis, the British High Commissioner to India, said that the UK wanted to make travelling to the country as easy as possible.
Source: The PIE News