New York (US) | Jagran News Desk: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday raised the issue of COVID-19 quarantine in the United Kingdom (UK) and pushed for an "early resolution" as he met the newly-appointed British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss.
"Pleased to meet new UK Foreign Secretary @trussliz. Discussed the progress of Roadmap 2030. Appreciated her contribution on the trade side. Exchanged views on developments in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific. Urged early resolution of quarantine issue in mutual interest," Jaishankar tweeted.
The meeting between Jaishankar and Truss comes after the UK announced new COVID-19-induced restrictions, drawing sharp criticism from India. As per the new rules, Indian travellers who have received both doses of Covishield "will be considered unvaccinated and will have to undergo self-isolation for 10 days".
As the new vaccine rules continue to irk India, the UK has said that it is engaging with New Delhi to explore how it could expand the recognition of the COVID-19 vaccine certification issued by Indian authorities.
"The UK is committed to opening up international travel again as soon as is practicable and this announcement is a further step to enable people to travel more freely again, in a safe and sustainable way, while protecting public health," news agency PTI quoted a British High Commission spokesperson as saying.
"We are engaging with the Government of India to explore how we could expand the UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India," the official added.
From October 4, the current "traffic light system" of red, amber, green countries based on levels of COVID-19 risk will be replaced by one red list of countries. The scrapping of the amber list, which is what India is currently on, means a reduced PCR test cost burden only for some travellers.
The expanded list of countries whose vaccines are recognised in the UK does not include India. It means Indians vaccinated with Covishield, the SII-produced Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, would be required to undergo compulsory PCR tests as well as self-isolation.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma