United Kingdom has introduced new vaccine related travel rules for arrivals from around the world on Friday. According to the latest changes, fully vaccinated travellers from India are considered ‘unvaccinated’. The new rules unveiled will become effective from October 4th. The changes were added in an attempt to simplify the current system that categorises countries into red, amber and green zones. Under the simplified travel rules, countries are to be listed under a single red category.
As per the new rule, anyone who is not vaccinated with both shots of double-dose vaccines such as AstraZeneca from Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna under an approved vaccination program in UK, Europe or US are considered unvaccinated. Those who received single shot Janssen vaccine and other listed vaccines from approved UK vaccine program overseas will also be considered fully vaccinated.
Other criteria to be identified as fully vaccinated by UK’s travel rules is to receive vaccine shots under public health bodies in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan.
This means that people who are vaccinated in Africa, or South America, or countries like UAE, India, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Russia will be considered unvaccinated. Covishield, the local version of AstraZeneca vaccine, is supplied in India by the same manufacturers who supply vaccine in UK. The introduction of new travel-rules by United Kingdom will require travellers from India who have taken both the shots to follow quarantine rules since they would be considered unvaccinated.
During the visit to UK, foreign secretary Shringla urged UK authorities for the early removal of travel restrictions for Indians during the meeting with British interlocutors in July. The European Union had left it to individual nations to decide on accepting Indian vaccination certificates and several countries have recognised Covishield. Indian officials say that these changes in UK travel rules will affect students returning to British universities or travelling to UK for new courses.