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UK visitors face 10-day quarantine in tit for tat

Saturday, 02 October 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

New rule for all UK travellers to India from Oct 4

In an obvious tit-for-tat measure, India has decided to place all visiting travellers from the United Kingdom in mandatory ten-day quarantine even if they are vaccinated against Covid-19. The rule will come into force from October 4.

This is seen as retaliatory measure after the UK did not change its rule requiring all Indians entering Britain to be quarantined for ten days even if they had taken the two doses of vaccine. The UK will also enforce the rule from Monday.

“Our new regulations will come into effect from October 4, and will be applicable to all UK nationals arriving from the UK,” sources said here.

The directive also said from October 4, all UK nationals arriving in India from the UK, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to undertake the following measures: pre-departure Covid-19 RT-PCR test within 72 hours before travel; Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival at airport; Covid-19 RT-PCR test on Day eight after arrival, and mandatory quarantine at home or in the destination address for 10 days after arrival in India.

The order also said authorities in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Civil Aviation will be taking steps to implement new measures.

When Britain announced the new rules about ten days back, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla had termed them as “discriminatory” and cautioned that India had the right to take “reciprocal” action.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had taken up this issue with his British counterpart Elizabeth Truss in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session last week.

Under travel rules unveiled last month, fully dosed arrivals from nations such as the US, Israel and Australia will be allowed to enter England without quarantine. However, vaccinated people from many other countries, including India, still face tougher restrictions, including a 10-day home isolation period.

Following an uproar here, the UK changed its rule and included Covishield but did not remove India from the list of countries facing new restrictions.

Amid controversy over Britain’s new rules to quarantine travelers from India who are vaccinated with two doses of Covishield because of vaccination” certification issues”, United Kingdom High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis and National Health Authority chairman RS Sharma on last week discussed vaccine certification for Indian travellers.

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