Govt withdraws travel curbs on UK nationals arriving in India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 13, 2021

Diplomatic row ends, both nations allow free movement of the fully vaccinated

India has withdrawn the retaliatory travel restrictions imposed on UK nationals travelling to the country following Britain’s decision to lift the 10-day quarantine requirement for fully-vaccinated passengers from India with effect from October 11.

“Based on the evolving scenario, it has been decided that the revised guidelines referred to above (for UK nationals arriving in India) stand withdrawn, and the earlier guidelines on international arrival…shall be applicable to all travellers arriving in India from the UK,” according to an office memorandum circulated by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Monday.

Mandatory RT-PCR tests

India had imposed reciprocity on UK nationals arriving in the country from October 4, making it mandatory for them to not only undergo multiple RT-PCR tests, but also quarantine at home or in the destination address for the first 10 days after landing.

This was in response to the UK’s initial decision to keep India’s vaccination certificates out of the list of 18 approved countries, despite recognising Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India in India, as an eligible vaccine in its expanded travel advisory that came into force on October 4.

Both India and the UK thereafter engaged in intense talks to expedite the process for enabling the UK to recognise India’s vaccination certification. “After India imposed retaliatory travel restrictions, there was pressure on both sides to fast-track talks on India’s certification process so that restrictions could be lifted by both countries,” an official following the matter told BusinessLine.

On October 7, the UK announced scrapping of quarantine for Indian travellers fully-vaccinated with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine for travel to the country from October 11.

“With India also withdrawing the tit-for-tat travel restrictions on UK nationals, the diplomatic row seems to be over,” said the official.

Published on October 13, 2021

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