UK Working to Fix Quarantine Clause for Indians: Britain Min to Shringla Amid CoWIN Certification Row

The UK is working to resolve the quarantine issue for Indians entering the UK, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted that UK Minister of State Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs Tariq Ahmad discussed the matter with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla when they met on the sidelines of the 76th session of UNGA in New York.

Bagchi also tweeted that Shringla discussed various issues with Ahmad, including the situation in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Recently, the UK drew flak from India on its vaccine recognition process for Indians. Following the backlash, the UK earlier this week revised its travel advisory and included Covishield in its list of accepted vaccines, but Indians will have to quarantine and get tested on arrival as Britain still does not accept the CoWIN certificate.

Shringla had called the UK government’s decision to not recognise Covishield as “discriminatory” and one that impacts the travel of Indians. He had added that it is within the country’s “right to take reciprocal measures” if the matter was not resolved.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had also urged Britain to remove the rule requiring Indians visiting there to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated. India’s Covishield vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and manufactured in India by Pune-based Serum Institute, was not recognised by Britain under new rules despite being identical to the doses given to millions of Britons.

Amid these concerns, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis had on Thursday held discussions with National Health

Authority CEO RS Sharma and said that neither of the countries raised the matter about each other’s vaccine certification process. Ellis also said “excellent discussions” were a crucial step forward in “our joint aim to facilitate travel and fully protect the public health of UK and India”.

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