New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The government has withdrawn a travel advisory that added COVID-19 related additional checks and restrictions on those arriving from the UK after the British government ordered discontinuation of mandatory testing and quarantine norms for those vaccinated with Covishield travelling from India.

In an official memorandum issued on October 11, the health ministry said that based on the evolving scenario, it has been decided that the revised guidelines stand withdrawn and the earlier guidelines on international arrival issued on February 17 shall be applicable to all travellers arriving in India from the UK.

"Revised guidelines for UK nationals arriving in India issued on October 1, 2021, stand withdrawn, and earlier guidelines on international arrival dated February 17, 2021, shall be applicable for those arriving in India from the UK", the Ministry of Health said today. 

India on October 1, in a tit-for-tat move, decided to impose 10-day mandatory quarantine on arrival for all UK flyers among other restrictions. Under the guidelines, all UK nationals will also have to undertake the pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PRC test within 72 hours before travel. They will also have to undertake a COVID-19 RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport and an RT-PCR test on Day 8 after arrival.

India's reciprocal step came after the United Kingdom announced new travel rules which state that Indian travellers, even those who have received both doses of the Covishield vaccine, will be considered unvaccinated. India had said last month that it will be within its rights to take reciprocal measures against UK's "discriminatory" move to recognise AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine but not Covishield if the issue is not satisfactorily resolved.

However, after India's strong response, the UK on October 7 revised its COVID-19 travel advisory and said that Indian flyers travelling to England won't need to quarantine themselves from October 11 if they are fully vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine.

"No quarantine for India travellers to United Kingdom fully vaccinated with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine from 11 October. Thanks to Indian government for close cooperation over last month," British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said in a Tweet.

New Delhi and London were at the loggerheads after the UK issued new COVID-19 travel guidelines, making it compulsory for Indian flyers to quarantine themselves even if they were fully vaccinated with Covishield.

Later, the UK clarified that it does not have a problem with Covishield, but with the vaccine certification issued in India via the CoWIN portal. However, India refuted the claims made by the UK and said that the vaccine certificates issued via CoWIN are in a "template that was developed by the United Nations (UN)".

(With ANI, PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan