On October 7th, the UK announced further relaxed COVID-19 related travel curbs for Indian travellers. Starting October 11th, those vaccinated with an approved vaccine on UK's list no longer need to undergo the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) with AstraZeneca is on this list. Covaxin and Sputnik V, both part of India's inoculation programme, are not on the list.
On the list are 47 new countries including Pakistan, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana and Turkey. Only seven countries remain on UK's Red List: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
"I'm also making changes so travellers visiting England have fewer entry requirements, by recognising those with fully-vax status from 37 new countries and territories including India, Turkey and Ghana, treating them the same as UK fully vax passengers," Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, UK, said in a tweet.
Earlier in September, UK had simplified its travel policy by doing away with traffic light system. The result was two lists, red and green. While vaccinated travellers on the green list were exempted from the 10-day quarantine, Indians were not. In response, India issued reciprocal measures mandating quarantine for British travellers last week.
Who can travel?
All adults who have been inoculated with both doses of Covishield and completed 14 days after the second dose. Unvaccinated children are allowed to travel to the UK without mandatory quarantine.
Those who have received other vaccines (Covaxin and Sputnik V) that are not on UK's list of approved vaccines will be considered unvaccinated. They will need to take a pre-departure Covid test, on day 2 and day 8 and remain in quarantine for a period of 10 days.
What has changed?
Besides being able to avoid mandatory quarantine, fully vaccinated Indians will no longer need to take a pre-departure RT-PCR test.
What do you still need?
While travelling to the UK for Indians is now a lot easier and free of Covid-related restrictions, there are still a few steps you need to keep in mind.
- You need to carry your vaccination certificate.
- You need to book and pay in advance for a test to be taken on day 2 of your arrival in the UK.
- You need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form at least 48 hours before arriving in the UK.
What are the rules for children?
- Children of all ages who are UK residents, residents in a country with an approved proof of vaccination, do not have to quarantine on arrival in England.
- For children who are below the age of 4 are exempted from Covis-19 travel tests.
- Children aged between 5 to 17 are not required to take a covid-19 test before traveling to England. However, they must take a test on day two after arrival in England.
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