The UK has revised its travel policy to include Covishield as an approved vaccine after India raised strong objections and warned of tit-for-tat measures, but Indians double-vaccinated with the shot still have to quarantine. Updated UK guidelines say, “Formulations of the four listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Modern Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.” Meanwhile, the final decision regarding travelling of Indians to UK is still unclear.
However, Indians vaccinated with two doses of Covishield will still need to self-quarantine even though India is now on the Amber list. According to a UK High Commission statement yesterday, its government is “working with India to expand recognition of vaccine certification.” The implication is that the problem is not Covishield but doubts over vaccination certification in India. This could raise new problems after India warned of “reciprocal measures” if Covishield, India’s version of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, is not recognized. “The non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminatory policy and impacts our citizens travelling to the UK. The External Affairs Minister has raised the issue strongly with the new UK foreign secretary. I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue will be resolved,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had told reporters yesterday. The UK has revised its travel policy to include Covishield as an approved vaccine, but says Indians doubly vaccinated with the vaccine must still be quarantined, raising “vaccination certification issues”.