In its revised travel advisory, the United Kingdom on Wednesday qualified Serum Institute of India-developed; Covishield as an approved COVID-19 vaccine for travelers. Travelers from any part of the world; who are inoculated with Covishield can now visit Britain freely from October 4, 2021. However, still, Indians vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine will need to quarantine on their arrival in the British country. This is because of some issue with India’s vaccination certificate. Although India has made it to the UK’s amber list of countries in the new travel guidelines; there are some strict measures regarding quarantine.
The Government of the United Kingdom has Issues with the Covid Certificate
In a recent statement, the government of the United Kingdom; said that they have no problem with the Covishield vaccine. However, they are quite skeptical about the vaccination certificate issued in India.
The British High Commission stated that they are constantly working with the Indian government; to expand the recognition of their Covid vaccination certificate. However, certification in India is a centralized national system, managed through the CoWIN application. On the other hand, the National Health Authority in India has constantly denied any issues with the vaccination certificate.
Fully Vaccinated Indians Still Need to Quarantine in England
In its new advisory, the United Kingdom government has stated that anyone inoculated with a full dose; of Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen is considered fully vaccinated. However, other formulations of the AstraZeneca vaccine including Covishield; are also added in the fully vaccinated category. But Indian citizens will have to quarantine for at least 14 days upon their arrival in the UK. Earlier, the country did not consider Covishield-vaccinated Indians as fully vaccinated people. The Indian minister for external affairs, S Jaishankar immediately retorted with this decision. He claimed that the British country will have to face reciprocal measures in India; if they didn’t take immediate actions.
The United Kingdom Government Wants to Know More About CoWIN
R.S. Sharma, the CEO of the National Health Authority; stated that there are no issues with CoWIN regarding the vaccination certificates. He further added that India’s vaccination system is completely World Health Organization compliant. Moreover, their department is constantly discussing the matter with the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Besides that, he said that the government of the United Kingdom; wants to understand the technical aspects of the CoWIN portal. Henceforth, the health department has allotted a resource person who is dictating the whole procedure to the British officials. Sharma also said that these are pure technical conversations. Apart from Sharma, Foreign Secretary, Dr. Harsh Vardhan Singh; has also discussed the matter with the British authorities. They have assured him that they will soon resolve the matter.