NEW DELHI: Amid concerns in India about UK's new travel rules, Britain has said that it is engaging to explore the recognition of New Delhi's vaccine certification of COVID-19 vaccine to people.
A British High Commission spokesperson said that Indian travellers must follow the "non-vaccinated rules".
"We are engaging with the Government 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,'" the spokesperson said.
Under the new UK rules, Indians travelling to the UK would be considered unvaccinated and have to go through 10 days isolation periods.
The UK issued a revised travel advisory on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, and said that Covishield is qualified as an approved vaccine.
It approved individuals with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan. But the list does not include India. This advisory will be applicable from 4 am (local time) on October 4.
Covishield is manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
India has said 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.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told media persons on Tuesday that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had raised the issue strongly with the UK.
"Have raised the discriminatory nature of UK vaccine recognition for AstraZeneca but not Covishield. Discussions on, but if they do not satisfy us, we would be well within our rights to take reciprocal action," Shringla said.
"Non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminating policy and impacts Indian citizens travelling to the UK. I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue will be resolved," he added.