India criticizes new British travel rules as ‘discriminatory’, warns of retaliation

Travelers at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.

NS. Narayan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

India has criticized the UK’s decision to exclude vaccinated Indian travelers from the new travel advice, calling it “discriminatory” and warning of reciprocal measures.

Next month, the UK government will allow fully vaccinated travelers from a list of countries to skip quarantine on arrival – but fully vaccinated Indians must still be placed in quarantine.

United kingdom He passed out last week Travel restrictions say fully vaccinated individuals from 17 countries and territories, including Japan and Singapore, will not need to remain in quarantine for 10 days after arriving in England.

From October 4, travelers from those destinations must prove they have received a full course of one of the Covid vaccines Currently approved in the UKAt least two weeks before their arrival. Approved vaccines are: Oxford / AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen.

The main vaccine in India is a vaccine from Oxford University and the British Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca – But it is locally manufactured by the Serum Institute of India under the name Covishield. it has been Approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

If we do not get satisfaction, it is our right to impose reciprocal measures.

Wrede V Shringla

Indian foreign minister

“The main issue here is the Kovishield vaccine, which is a licensed product from a British company and is manufactured in India,” Indian Foreign Minister Harsh told a news conference in Shringla on Tuesday. “We have The United Kingdom provided five million dosesAt the request of the UK government, we understand this has been used in their national health system. “

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He added: “Therefore, not recognizing KofiSchild is a discriminatory policy and has implications for our citizens traveling to the UK.”

Under the new rules, Indian travelers must self-quarantine after arriving in England and undergo three rounds of testing, regardless of their vaccination status. Many Indian nationals usually travel to the UK for work, study, leisure or to visit family.

Shringla said Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, had raised the issue “firmly” with British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

“I have been informed that certain assurances have been given to resolve this issue,” he said.

Jaishankar tweeted that during his meeting with Truss in New York, he “pressed for a quick resolution of the quarantine issue for the greater good.”

Indian opposition MP Shashi Tharoor said: He withdrew from the Cambridge University debate on the quarantine order.

“It is insulting to ask Indians who have been fully vaccinated to be quarantined,” he said.

another legislator, Jeram Ramesh said the decision was “racist”.

“We will have to see how it goes, but if we do not get satisfaction, we have the right to impose reciprocal measures,” Shringla added, without clarifying what some of these measures are.

Government data shows that India has so far delivered more than 825 million doses of the vaccine in one of the world’s largest vaccination campaigns – according to an online publication, nearly 15% of the country’s eligible population has received the two doses needed to be considered complete. to be considered immune. Our world is in data.

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Homemade vaccine from Bharat Biotech called Covaxin, Not yet approved by the World Health Organization. This is likely to further complicate the international travel plans of many Indian nationals.

Megan Vasquez

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