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Heathrow and Gatwick: New rules for travelers from India after UK government approves Covishield vaccine


The UK government changed its overseas travel guidelines to approve the Indian version of the AstraZeneca vaccine; Covishield.

Covishield was added to Britain’s list of recognized vaccines after the government’s refusal to recognize it sparked protests in India.

From next month, those who received the jab will be able to enter the UK without having to self-isolate.

READ MORE : Heathrow and Gatwick: Foreign Ministry’s latest advice for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka

However, it is still unclear whether travelers from India or other countries that also use Covishield, including Kenya, will avoid having to self-isolate.

Covishield is the most used vaccine in India

The new rules, which take effect on October 4, will mean travelers coming to the UK from a number of countries will not have to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated – but India is not included in this listing.

India is currently not listed as a country where people are recognized as fully immunized even though they have received both doses of an approved vaccine.

Despite the newly recognized Indian vaccine, those traveling to Britain must self-isolate as well as book and pass Covid-19 tests before being allowed to travel freely.

India has called the rule “discriminatory” and racist, and the country’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, has reportedly tackled the issue “forcefully” with his British counterpart Liz Truss.

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While Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla said it was “a discriminatory policy and having an impact on our citizens traveling to the UK”.

British travelers to India undergo heat screening for fever on arrival and provide a negative Covid-19 test. They don’t need to quarantine themselves.

In July, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “very confident” that “this will not be a problem” for travelers who had received an Indian-made Covid vaccine.

Covishield is India’s main vaccine. With over 721 million doses administered to date.

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