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British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis on Thursday said that the UK had no technical concerns with India's vaccine certification process. He said this after having technical discussions with Dr RS Sharma, CEO of National Health Authority. 

“Excellent technical discussions with Dr RS Sharma (CEO, National Health Authority), NHA. Neither side raised technical concerns with each other’s certification process," Ellis said. 

The UK envoy further said that this was an important step forward in their joint aim to facilitate travel and fully protect public health of UK and India. 

Sharma too said that this will be instrumental in resuming socio-economic activities between India and UK. “Echoing his excellency Alex Ellis’s views, this will be instrumental in resuming socio-economic activities between India and UK. We also look forward to deepening ties between NHA and NHS, as we collaborate to build a digital continuum of healthcare services," he said.

The development comes just a day after reports emerged saying that the UK officials had some concerns regarding India's vaccine certification process. 

Ellis on Wednesday said that detailed technical discussions were being held regarding certification of Covid vaccine with the builders of CoWIN app and NHS app.

"We have been having detailed technical discussions regarding certification, with the builders of the CoWIN app and the NHS app, about both apps. They're happening at a rapid pace, to ensure that both countries mutually recognise the vaccine certificates issued by each other," he said.

However, NHA chief Sharma said that the UK had not expressed any concern over India's vaccine certificates generated by Co-WIN platform. “They haven’t expressed any concern. The UK High Commissioner visited me on September 2, they wanted to understand technical aspects. After that their team visited twice for technical level conversations with our technical team," he said. 

According to PTI, the UK government has said that vaccine certification from all countries must meet a "minimum criteria" and that it is working with India on a "phased approach" to its international travel norms.

The UK on Wednesday added Covishield, the Serum manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, in its approved vaccines list used for travel advisory. However, India did not figure on the list of 18 countries.

Following confusion, UK government officials told the news agency that additions or changes to the approved country listings are being kept under "regular consideration", but there was no further clarity on the required criteria for approving a country's vaccine certification.

"As part of our recently expanded inbound vaccination policy, we recognise the following vaccines Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen (J&J), for the purposes of international travel. This now includes the formulations AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda," a UK government spokesperson said.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated, or vaccinated in a country such as India currently not on the UK government’s recognised list, must take a pre-departure test, pay for day two and day eight PCR tests after arrival in England and self-isolate for 10 days, with an option to "test to release" after five days following a negative PCR test.

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