UK govt revises advisory, approves Covishield as qualified vaccine for travel

UK revises travel rules for Indian travellers, approves Covishield as qualified Covid vaccine.

 

The United Kingdom revised its travel advisory on Wednesday saying that Covishield, the vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) – qualifies as an approved vaccine for travellers visiting Britain from any part of the world from October 4 onwards.

However, as of now, that does not translate into relief for quarantine for fully vaccinated (with WHO-approved Covishield) travellers from India under the relaxed rules that come into force from October 4.

“The problem isn’t Covishield but India’s vaccine certificate”, a top UK official has said.

India had earlier protested the UK’s non-recognition of the Covishield vaccine and warned of “reciprocal measures” if the ‘discriminatory policy’ was not amended.

The move will also mean that a pre-departure PCR test is no longer required as long as vaccinated travellers pre-book a day two test post-arrival in England and complete the compulsory passenger locator form in advance.

In its new advisory, the UK said that a traveller will be considered fully vaccinated if they are inoculated with a full dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in select countries.

The UK government update says: “From 4 am, October 4, you will qualify as fully vaccinated if you are vaccinated: under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas; with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen From 4 am, October 4, you will qualify as fully vaccinated if you are vaccinated: under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseasvaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan; Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines. You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.”

The advisory added that along with Covishield, other formulations of the four aforementioned vaccines – as AstraZeneca Vaxzevria or Moderna Takeda – shall also qualify as approved vaccines.”

On September 17, the UK announced a new travel system which has just a red list and rest of the world. New rules apply to rest of the world arrivals in England from October 4. But for those from India, the conditions are the same when India was moved from the red to amber list.

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