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The number of European Union accepting the Covishield Covid-19 vaccine as valid proof of immunity of incoming travellers has increased to 19, as Italy has also recognised the vaccine on Friday.

The Embassy of India Rome (Italy) on Friday said that Italy has recognised Serum Institute's Covishield. " Indian vaccine cardholders are now eligible for the green pass, " the embassy added in a tweet.

Until now, Italy had only recognised these Covid-19 vaccines--Comirnaty – Pfizer; Moderna; Vaxzervria – AstraZeneca, and Janssen – Johnson & Johnson for travel. Now, a total of 19 countries have recognised Covishield vaccine, these include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Covishield, which is the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in India, is the most widely recognised vaccine for travel in the EU after those approved by EMA.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is facing severe backlash over its latest international travel advisory. Even though the UK kept Covishield, manufactured by the SII, in its list of ‘approved vaccines’, it kept India in the list of countries whose travellers need to quarantine for 10 days when they reach the UK due to India's vaccination certificate through the CoWIN app, UK officials have said.

Alex Ellis, the British high commissioner to India, said "We're clear Covishield is not a problem. We have been having detailed technical discussions regarding certification, with the builders of the CoWIN app and the NHS app, about both apps". External affairs minister S Jaishankar has also strongly taken up the issue. The minister said, "Urged early resolution of quarantine issue in mutual interest," on Twitter.

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