OPEN APP
Home >News >World >India warns UK of reciprocal steps over quarantine rules
Listen to this article

NEW DELHI : India may take “reciprocal measures" if the UK doesn’t change a policy that requires visiting Indian nationals to undergo mandatory quarantine even if they are fully-vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine, foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday.

Terming it as a “discriminatory policy", Shringla said the rules will impact Indians wanting to travel to the UK. The new rules were unveiled last week and are set to take effect in October.

The rules require Indians visiting the UK to quarantine themselvesfor 10 days and undergo covid-19tests even if they are fully vaccinated with Covishield, which is produced under licence by Serum Instituteof India (SII), the world’s largestvaccine maker, and is a version of the vaccine developed in the UK by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The UK’s decision has sparked anger in India.

Britain and Scotland are expected to ease pandemic restrictions from early October, according to news reports. However, the list of countries with approved vaccines does not include India.

“Here is a vaccine, Covishield, which is a licensed product of a UK company, manufactured in India, of which we have supplied 5 million doses to the UK at the request of the government of the UK. We understand that this has been used in the national health system and, therefore, non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminatory policy," Shringla said at a press conference.

Meanwhile, foreign minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday discussed the matter with his British counterpart Liz Truss on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Shringla said. Jaishankar is in the US ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue would be resolved," Shringla said of the talks between Jaishankar and Truss.

“We have also offered some of our partner countries the option of mutual recognition of vaccine certification. However, these are reciprocal measures. I think if obviously as we go along we have to see how it goes but if we don’t get satisfaction, we would be within our rights to impose reciprocal measures," Shringla said.

A large number of the people in India have been vaccinated withCovishield. Others have received doses of the indigenously-developed Covaxin, which is produced by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and is awaiting approval by the World Health Organization.

India could resume exports and donations of surplus covid-19 vaccines in October after a gap of many months following a brutal second wave of the pandemic, Union health and family welfare minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday.

Meanwhile, the US has said it would open up to “fully vaccinated" travellers from November, according to a report in the New York Times. The paper quoted Jeff Zients, the White House pandemic coordinator, as saying that international travel was “critical to connecting families and friends, to fuelling small and large businesses, and to promoting the open exchange of ideas and culture".

That the US has eased travel norms for Indian students and professionals is “positive news", Shringla said.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!

Close
×
Edit Profile
My ReadsRedeem a Gift CardLogout