Nod to Covishield, but no to CoWIN certificate: UK says after revising COVID-19 travel advisory

The UK COVID-19 travel rules approved Covishield in its list of accepted vaccines on Monday. However, India is still not included in the vaccines from the "relevant public health body" list.

By Sugandha Jha
Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:01 PM IST
Minute Read
Nod to Covishield, but no to CoWIN certificate: UK says after revising COVID-19 travel advisory

New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The UK on Wednesday revised its COVID-19 travel advisory including Serum Institute of India's Covishield in its list of accepted vaccines after the backlash from the Indian diaspora. However, Indians will have to quarantine and get tested on arrival as Britain still does not accept CoWIN certificate.

"India not mentioned in the list of countries (where Covishield jab received) in the new UK travel advisory. Indians will still require to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in the UK," news agency ANI reported.

Giving clarification over this, a British High Commission spokesperson said "We are engaging with Govt of India to explore how we could expand UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India. Indian travellers to the UK must follow the non-vaccinated rules."

Contradicting this Dr. RS Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority told ANI "They haven’t expressed any concern. UK High Commissioner visited me on Sept 2, they wanted to understand technical aspects. After that their team visited twice for technical level conversations with our technical team.

The UK officials have implied the problem is not Covishield but doubts over vaccine certification in India. The UK government has reservations about the CoWin certification process and the authenticity of the generated vaccine certificates.

However, the officials in the Union Health Ministry said the template of CoWin certificate is in line with international standards and they have no plans to change it to address UK's concerns with the Indian system.

“There are no problems with the CoWin certificate per se and in their official communication with us there is no mention of that either. Our certificate is in line with the template that was developed by the UN and ICAO. The only difference is that the template lists date of birth and ours gives the age — that is the year of birth and not the specific date. Both of these organisations are broad-based with membership of 130 countries and our certificate has all the details,” a senior health ministry official told ThePrint.

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